Apple is rumored to be working on its own pair of augmented reality glasses, and the device expected to be the tech giant’s next big step in pushing the technology forward. Now, Apple’s primary Apple Watch assembler claims that the company’s AR glasses might arrive as soon as 2019.
In an interview with Nikkei Asian Review, Quanta Computer vice chairman C.C. Leung revealed that they are working on an AR project and have already studied “the optical technologies that AR device have needed two years ago.” He didn’t give the name of the product, but it’s believed to be Apple’s rumored AR glasses. Quanta is currently Apple’s primary Apple Watch Series 3 assembler and MacBook component supplier, so it’s highly likely that it’s also working on the rumored Apple AR glasses.
Leung also said that they expect the AR glasses to be available in the market “no later than the year 2019.” Leung also described the new AR device as a “headset-like gadget with a fully transparent lens that allows users to see through and interact with the environment.”
Additionally, Leung believes that Apple’s AR glasses could be a huge hit in the market if it were priced lower than $1,000. Although the executive threw in that price figure, it’s very unlikely that he has any knowledge on Apple’s pricing plans, as pointed out by MacRumors.
Leung noted that although a virtual reality headset is cheaper now, he believes that AR devices will be able to bring much more applications and create more opportunities than VR in the long run. Right now, the only major player in the AR headset market is Microsoft with the HoloLens. The current iteration of the HoloLens developert kit sells for $3,000 and won’t even start shipping to customers until March 2018.
Although the HoloLens won’t be out until 2018, Microsoft has partnered with manufacturers like HP, Acer and Lenovo to create their own version of Windows Mixed Reality headsets. The prices of these headsets range from $399 to $499. These headsets combine both AR and VR experiences using built-in displays and outward-facing front cameras.
Unliked the aforesaid headsets, Apple’s rumored AR glasses is expected to be dedicated to augmented reality. Bloomberg reported last week that Apple’s AR glasses could be unveiled in 2019 and might become available to consumers by 2020. The report also gave out more details about the rumored AR device claiming that Apple is also working on a new operating system called “rOS,” which stands for “reality operating system.” The new operating system is being developed by a team that’s being led by Apple’s Geoff Stahl.
Apple is also said to be planning on designing its own chip for the upcoming AR glasses that would be similar to the “system-on-a-package” component that’s already found inside the Apple Watch. Apple is said to be using HTC Vive VR headsets to test out all of its AR-related experiments and is also working on a new device that’s similar to the Oculus Gear VR to test out AR apps next year.
With Quanta’s vice chair now claiming that a major AR device is coming in 2019, it seems as though Bloomberg’s report from last week might actually be accurate.