Apple’s dream of lightweight AR glasses remains elusive


Apple Glass concept from the Hacker 34.
The technology to make Apple AR glasses like these doesn't exist yet.
Concept: the Hacker 34

The VR/AR headset roughly the size of a pair of ski goggles that Apple is widely expected to introduce next month isn’t even close to CEO Tim Cook’s original goal for the project, according to info leaking from the company. Instead, Cook wanted a slim pair of AR glasses that could be worn all day,

As it stands now, that lightweight version of the product remains years away.

Don’t expect Apple AR/VR headset to be small

Apple is about the only one not talking about Apple’s upcoming headset, which reportedly will seamlessly mix virtual reality and augmented reality capabilities. A long series of leaks have revealed many of the details.

It reportedly will be a cutting-edge device packed with screens, sensors and computing power that will come with a wide array of software.

But what it won’t be is small. Unconfirmed reports say the AR/VR headset won’t be as bulky as its rivals, but will still more resemble ski goggles than regular glasses. And it will only attain that goal by putting a large battery in an external pack.

Tim Cook wanted AR glasses

Cook makes no secret that he is a fan of augmented reality. In 2015, he wanted a lightweight pair of glasses with augmented reality capabilities to be his company’s next big project after Apple Watch, according to Bloomberg.

It didn’t go well. After years of work, the company has made little progress on getting the hardware needed for AR into something as small as a pair of glasses.

“The company’s engineers determined it would have to replicate the performance of an iPhone while using only a tenth of the power, to keep from getting too hot,” said the Bloomberg report, citing unnamed sources.

Apple supposedly remains at least four years away from attaining Cook’s original dream of slim, lightweight AR glasses.

The result is the much bulkier VR/AR headset that so many leaks say will debut at WWDC23 on June 5. While not what the company hoped to make when it started on the project, the device is something that can actually be produced with current technology.

If you’re not pysched about Apple’s upcoming device, read our article: “5 reasons to get excited about the Apple VR/AR headset.”


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