An unlikely report by Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo suggests that Apple Glasses could launch as early as 2026 or 2027.
While the main focus of the report is that Apple Glass will not be mass-produced before these dates, the idea that the product could arrive in as little as three or four years seems implausible given that we know. 8217;expected …
It has long been rumored that Apple is working on two different types of wearable augmented and virtual reality devices: a mixed reality headset that may be called Reality Pro, and a much less intrusive augmented reality device that is commonly referred to as Apple glasses.
Apple glasses are a completely different concept. What we're expecting is a wearable that looks like regular prescription glasses and can overlay augmented reality content like Apple Maps directions and notifications.
Apple Glasses Launch
Kuo's investment note states that:
Apple Glasses (not AR/MR headsets) […] won't enter mass production until 2026 or 2027
We've already noted why this seems extremely unlikely.
Apple Glasses are currently a lunar project. Get them to do whatever is expected of them in a device with an all-day battery life, a form factor similar to prescription glasses, and affordable enough to be a consumer product (even an Apple product). large-scale and ambitious project. One that was always bound to take many years: it is unlikely to follow in quick succession a first or second generation Apple headset.
There is always the impossible for a first generation product that is significantly less ambitious than expected functionality, but it doesn't quite look like Apple's style. Not going to run a bulky device with half an hour battery life. The company tends to let other brands bring early compromised products to market while Apple sits back and waits until it can do its job properly.
Metalens Face ID Technology
Kuo's keynote speech is a new technology designed to allow camera lenses to fit into smaller spaces, Metalenses. While existing lenses require curved surfaces and considerable depth, metalens are flat lenses that can be thinner than a sheet of paper.
Kuo says it will be a few more years before metalens can replace camera lenses in premium devices. like iPhones. The earliest appearance of metal lenses in front cameras will occur between 2028 and 2030, and then only in the most budget devices.
However, Kuo expects to see Apple start switching to metal lenses for the Face ID array next year.
In 2024, the supply chain is expected to mass-produce metal Apple lenses, which is expected to replace the plastic iPad lens in Face ID Tx [… ]
If the metal lens for the iPad is successfully released in 2024, iPhone Face ID will adopt the metal lens in 2025 or 2026 (the latter is currently more likely).
He points out that the first use will be in a point projector, and later it could be used for a Face ID infrared camera as well.
The flat form factor also makes metalens perfect for Apple glasses, and he says the company from Cupertino is working on it. This in itself seems likely, and his estimate of the longest possible timeline is far less likely.
Concept image: Engineering