Apple is currently building up its resources to launch its augmented-reality headset in 2022 and AR glasses by 2023.
Rumours have long suggested that Apple was planning on launching an augmented reality headset in 2020, but according to a new report from The Information, that date may be a little optimistic. Apple reportedly held a meeting in October in which the road map for the device was discussed — and it now looks like it may not arrive until 2022.
The report notes that Apple’s current plan is to launch an Oculus Quest-type headset in 2022, followed by a sleeker glasses-type headset in 2023.
According to the report, the first headset will offer “high-resolution” eyepieces that would allow users to read “small type.” It will also have cameras on the outside, which will allow users to interact with digital objects in their environment, as well as be able to map rooms.
The smart glasses, due a year later, will be strictly AR, with early prototypes that “look like high-priced sunglasses with thick frames that house the battery and chips.”
Bloomberg, confirming The Information story, reported that the reason the AR headset was pushed back is that both hardware and software need to be developed. Along with a new 3-D sensor that’s expected to debut in a new iPad Pro set to be released as early as the first half of 2020, Apple is also said to be working on rOS, a new operating system for the devices.
If and when the AR headset and smart glasses come to market, Apple will already have both software and a coding base for developers.
Hardware development takes time, especially for a detail-obsessed company such as Apple. Contrary to hype at the time, the iPad didn’t emerge miraculously finished from the heavens; Apple famously redirected its early iPad development efforts into the iPhone before circling back years later to create a tablet.