Foreign technology media MacWorld reported that Apple has once again delayed the AR glasses project market time. Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman broke the news that Apple’s AR glasses project has encountered “technical challenges” and has been postponed indefinitely and shelved for subsequent development.
Gurman said: “Apple’s original vision was to provide a pair of lightweight AR glasses that users can wear all day. Now it seems that even if it is launched, it will be several years away from commercialization.”
According to Apple’s previous roadmap, Apple will launch AR (augmented reality)/VR (virtual reality) head-mounted display devices this year, and then accumulate related technologies and software ecology to create AR glasses in 2024/2025.
Gurman said that the current AR technology is not mature enough, and not only Apple but also other companies have such challenges. Overlaying virtual information on top of the real world, augmented reality experiences require a transformation in many ways. Google’s Google Glass is an example of a failure.
On a technical level, the weight, bulk, and design aesthetics of AR glasses struggle to live up to the expectations of users of traditional corrective glasses. The processor, system, and software ecosystem have not yet been developed. Even if it can provide an excellent AR experience, the size limit cannot provide a sufficient battery life guarantee, and the actual use may be less than 2 hours.
Faced with these hurdles, Apple has halted its glasses project and now plans to follow its first head-mounted display device with a lower-cost but conceptually similar mixed-reality device. Gurman predicts this will come in 2024 or early 2025.
Gurman predicts that Apple’s first AR/VR head-mounted display device will cost around $3,000 (currently about 20,340 CNY), and the price of this “people-friendly” model will be around $1,500 (currently about 10,170 CNY). The configuration of this affordable device will drop from Mac level to iPhone level.