KEY POINTS

  • A new report reveals that Apple's augmented reality headset is in the works
  • The AR headset will be released sometime in 2022
  • Previous reports indicate that a sleeker model will follow in 2023

Fans hoping for Apple to release its own augmented reality headset to work with ARKit will be glad to know that the Cupertino tech giant will indeed release its own offering. There's a catch, however – the AR headset won't be released until 2022, a report says.

According to sources speaking with Taiwanese publication DigiTimes (via iPhoneHacks), Apple's augmented reality headset is already underway, and might be released in a few years' time:

“Taiwan-based optical component suppliers are engaged in the development of Apple’s augmented reality smart glasses, which may be commercialized by 2022, according to industry sources.”

There are a few things that can be derived from this short blurb above. First, it implies that Apple's partners in Taiwan are already working on the “development” of the iPhone maker's AR glasses. It's already in the works. Second, there's a timeline: the device “may be commercialized by 2022.”

The new report seems to confirm what The Information said about Apple's plans for its augmented reality glasses. Back in November 2019, sources speaking with The Information revealed that according to an internal presentation led by Cupertino's Mike Rockwell, the company will release two AR glasses in the near future.

One of these will be an AR headset that will be released in 2022. This headset, as per iPhoneHacks, “would look similar to the Oculus Quest.” This means it won't be the kind that people will wear on the streets, but it will allow users to enjoy Apple's ARKit and other augmented reality features.

The other will be a “sleeker pair of AR glasses” that will be released the succeeding year, in 2023. Not much is known about this device, except that it will look better compared to the AR headset, and might even be designed for use outside the home like Google's glass.

Several patents also indicate that Apple is working hard at equipping its AR headset with smart technologies such as eye-tracking (the ability to monitor and keep track of a user's eyes and respond accordingly), gaze prediction (the ability to predict where the user will look at next based on several factors), and more.

The DigiTimes report didn't mention a specific release date. Stay tuned for more updates as they come.

Smart glasses and other wearable technologies are being showcased at the 2020 Consumer Electronics Show, even as consumers grow concerned about how their data are collected and used Some smart glasses are bulky and don't look like wearers will wear them on the street any day. Photo: AFP / MANDEL NGAN