Apple is charging forward into the AR eyewear market with a pair of spectacular spectacles dubbed Apple Glass (via TechRadar).
In late May, Jon Prosser, a reliable leaker known for having exclusive insight into Apple's future plans, revealed a lot of juicy information about Apple Glass in a YouTube video that sent shockwaves around the tech community.
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We've been hearing speculation and rumors about Apple AR headsets for years, but there hasn't been any substantial information about the project -- until Prosser spilled the beans on Front Page News (his YouTube channel).
In June, new information about Apple Glass poured in from a different leaker: Bloomberg's Mark Gunman. With Gunman's revelations, we now know that Apple Glass was codenamed N421 by the Apple team for their top secret AR project. But Apple Glass's mysteriousness is beginning to unravel -- here's everything we know about Apple Glass, or N421, to date.
Apple Glass price
First, you may be wondering, "How much does Apple Glass cost?" According to Prosser, the starting price of Apple Glass is $499, but a prescription cost would increase the total price tag.
Yes, you read correctly -- Apple Glass will feature prescription lenses, which makes sense. Over 61% of the U.S. population wears some form of visual correction aid, whether it's contact lenses or glasses, and Apple surely doesn't want to lose such a huge consumer base.
Apple glass prescription
Interestingly, though Prosser's Apple source noted that there's a price increase for Apple Glass spectacles with prescription lenses, a patent awarded to Apple by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office revealed that Apple Glass may not feature prescription lenses in the traditional sense.
The patent showcased a futuristic pair of spectacles that sports auto-correcting lenses that can adjust and optimize its lenses to ensure the best visual experience for the wearer.
Apple Glass design
"What does Apple Glass look like?" would naturally be your next question. Prosser has seen a prototype for the Apple Glass design, but due to legal concerns, he decided that it'd be better to play it safe by simply describing what he saw.
According to Prosser, Apple Glass will likely sport plastic frames. However, there's a chance that those frames could be metal instead. The prolific leaker added that he cannot confidently say that what he saw is a final, ready-for-market design because, well, it's just a prototype.
The right-hand side of the Apple Glass frames will reportedly feature a LiDAR sensor, but Prosser didn't spot any other cameras on the futuristic eyewear design -- this is likely due to privacy concerns.
Apple Glass features
According to Gunman, Apple Glass will be able to beam maps and messages into the user's field of vision.
You'll also able to control Apple Glass with your iPhone, Prosser reported. Both lenses will be able to display information via a user interface called Starboard, which can be controlled with hand gestures.
The lens can also scan Apple QR codes, but Prosser did not delve into how this will be integrated into the Apple Glass experience.
Apple Glass may also come with a plastic stand for wireless charging.
Since Google Glass is AR eyewear, many may be expecting to emote a lot of "ahhs" and "oohs" over its capabilities, but Prosser noted that Apple Glass fans may want to reign back their excitement -- it is a first-generation product and it may not live up to our high expectations.
You may be wondering if there is a sunglasses version of Apple Glass on the horizon, and the answer is no -- for now. Rumor has it that Apple engineers can't quite get the display to work properly on tinted lenses.
Apple Glass launch date
There are conflicting reports on Apple Glass' rumored launch date. According to Prosser, Apple initially wanted to reveal Apple Glass as an, "Oh, and one more thing" moment at the upcoming iPhone 12 event. Unfortunately, timelines are up in the air due to COVID-19. Prosser asserted that the iPhone 12 was slated to be launched in September of this year, but due to coronavirus-related delays, Apple is eyeing October.
The problem is, though, that Apple desperately wants the media to be present during this reveal, but with uncertainty about when social distancing mandates will be lifted, that October date could be pushed back even further.
If Apple cannot announce iPhone 12 and Apple Glass during Q4 of 2020 due to coronavirus setbacks, they will aim for March 2021, according to Prosser.
Finally, while Apple Glass may be announced during an imminent iPhone 12 event, Prosser wants to make it clear that the technological AR spectacles won't hit store shelves until several months after the reveal.
Apple Glass will likely be available by the end of 2021 or early 2022.
However, according to Gunman's report on Bloomberg, Apple Glass won't hit store shelves until 2023 or later.