Prototype “Apple Glass” augmented reality glasses are reportedly set to enter the second phase of production, Digitimes reported Wednesday.
The paywalled report cites “industry sources” but doesn’t reveal how many phases are involved in Apple’s development of its AR glasses. However, since Digitimes’ sources are seemingly located predominantly in the supply chain, rather than inside Apple, this suggests that the long-rumored AR specs have moved beyond Cupertino’s initial internal mockups.
The news follows shortly after reliable TF International Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said Apple plans to launch its first AR device in 2021. This could well be the Apple glasses in question. Apple tipster Jon Prosser previously predicted the Apple Glass could retail for $499 or more. That would put them roughly in line with the Apple Watch.
Apple CEO Tim Cook frequently talks up his excitement about AR. In an interview a few years ago, Cook said his company would not launch AR glasses until the technology advanced to a point Apple was happy with. Last year, Foxconn reportedly started trial production on polarized, semi-transparent AR lenses that could be used for Apple Glass.
Can Apple make AR glasses mainstream?
To date, the ill-fated Google Glass remains the primary reference a lot of people have for Apple Glass. But other manufacturers, such as Vuzix, have introduced more advanced AR eyewear since then.
No company has managed to crack the mainstream with AR glasses. But with Apple’s resources, app ecosystem and enthusiastic customer base, it could be perfectly placed to succeed in this area. Who knows: AR glasses may even be used to create the virtual Mac of the future.
Are you excited at the prospect of Apple AR glasses? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.