Apple Glasses: News and Expected Price, Release Date, Specs; and More Rumors

When to expect Apple's augmented reality glasses

Apple Glasses (aka Apple Glass) has been the rumored next step in augmented reality for consumers. Apple was granted a U.S. patent for a 'predictive, foveated virtual reality system' and another for a head-wearable device. Both appear to be part of a long-rumored augmented/mixed reality head-mounted display system from the tech giant.

Apple Glasses US patent illustration

U.S. Patent Publication 20210034145

When Will Apple Glasses Be Released?

There are dueling opinions on a release date, partly because there could possibly be three types of glasses and headsets that Apple has planned on releasing. Apple Glasses is the AR device that analysts at one time said we won't see until after Apple's VR headset (which is possibly called Apple Reality Pro).

Here's a look at a few release date rumors that, sadly, never came true:

According to analyst Jeff Pu, the AR glasses might be postponed until 2025 or 2026 "due to design issues."

However, Mark Gurman provides the latest insight: Apple has postponed the AR glasses indefinitely.

Lifewire's Release Date Estimate

Gurman's report means we should be on the lookout for MR headsets, not AR glasses, over the next couple of years. If Apple finds success in their other extended reality headsets, maybe we'll see Apple Glasses in the future.

How Much Will Apple Glasses Cost?

According to Prosser, the starting price will be around $500 plus the cost of an eyeglass prescription (if needed).

Where to Pre-Order

Since there's been no official announcement, there's nothing to pre-order. Yet.

Apple Glasses Features and Specs

We're going off rumors here, but these are only the ones that make sense. Here's what we're expecting:

  • As close in style to typical glasses as possible
  • A half-inch display with 1280x960 resolution using Sony OLED Micro-displays
  • The iPhone will process all data
  • Plastic or metal frames
  • Both lenses will display information
  • A UI called 'Starboard'
  • Controlled by gestures
  • A Lidar sensor on the right temple
  • Over 12 cameras, both low and high resolution
  • Wireless charging features
  • Ability to scan Apple QR codes
  • Wi-Fi 6E support

Prosser claims current LiDAR data from the 2020 iPad Pro is going straight to the Apple Glasses team. The iPhone 12 Pro Max also has LiDAR, so if you have one of those systems, and he's right, you just might be assisting in the development of these new AR glasses.

Here's a neat concept video with some feature ideas that could make their way into these glasses via xrOS (at one time thought to be called realityOS):

How Does Apple Glasses Work?

New patent granted to Apple in January 2022 showing stacked lenses.

No one knows for sure, but the general idea behind the key patent is an eyewear system that uses sensors to detect and track motion. The word 'foveated' stems from the idea of 'foveated rendering,' which essentially changes what the eye sees when something is viewed through a foveated lens.

The key patent abstract says 'a Predictive, Foveated Virtual Reality System may capture views of the world around a user using multiple resolutions. The Predictive, Foveated Virtual Reality System may include one or more cameras. They would be configured to capture lower-resolution image data for a peripheral field of view while capturing higher resolution image data for a narrow field of view corresponding to a user's line of sight. Additionally, the Predictive, Foveated Virtual Reality System may also include one or more sensors or other mechanisms, such as gaze tracking modules or accelerometers, to detect or track motions.'

Building off this abstract, one could look at similar ideas from other companies to start getting the idea of what the eye would see. Nvidia researched this and has some compelling images that give a general idea of how Apple Glass could work. This Foveated 3D Graphics paper from Microsoft Research is also helpful in understanding where Apple is headed with Apple Glass.

In 2022, Apple was granted a patent titled 'Tunable and foveated lens systems'. The idea is to stack liquid-filled lenses for each eye, with each lens potentially containing voltage-modulate optical materials surrounded by electrodes and embedded between transparent substrates.

The idea with these stacked lenses seems to be that the lenses could instantly and automatically adjust to correct a wearer's vision. Or maybe there will be a clip-on prescription lens option like this patent details.

Apple Glass as imagined by some in the tech industry.
Apple Glass as imagined by some in the tech industry.

Apple Insider

The Latest News About Apple Glasses

You can get more Smart & Connected Life news from Lifewire on all kinds of topics; here are more stories (and some of those rumors) about Apple Glasses in the meantime.