The Apple Watch is only a few years old, but it’s already the best-sold smartwatch in the world, as more and more people appreciate the many features built into a computer that sits on their wrists. The device is still mainly an iPhone accessory, although you can also use it as a standalone product for various features, including plenty of health and fitness activities.
In just two years, Apple is rumored to unveil a brand new iPhone-related accessory that might grow into a standalone product that won’t need a permanent connection to the smartphone.
Detailed in previous reports in the past few months, the Apple augmented reality (AR) glasses, which we’ll call Apple Glasses for the time being, are expected to launch in 2020 at the earliest. The rumor comes from a well-known Apple insider who made several accurate predictions about Apple products and plans, with the iPhone taking a central role in his coverage.
Ming-Chi Kuo said in a note to investors seen by MacRumors that Apple plans to introduce the glasses in 2020. AR is the “next-generation revolutionary UI,” according to the analyst, and the glasses should help Apple offer even more immersive AR experiences in the works. However, he did not share more details about the product, as the report’s main focus was Apple’s car project.
Apple never confirmed plans to make AR headsets, but plenty of other sources mentioned Apple Glasses as the obvious extension of the iPhone in the future. Some people even say that AR glasses will ultimately replace the iPhone, which wouldn’t be surprising. However, Apple Glasses will likely work together with an actual iPhone at first.
What’s entirely clear is that Apple is putting more and more efforts into AR going forward, and Apple Glasses are a natural evolution for that. Similarly, Apple’s main competitors already have AR and VR headsets or are working on more advanced versions. A few days ago, Magic Leap launched what was long heralded to be the most sophisticated mixed reality headset in town, but the first reviews say the company is yet to deliver on its promises.
That’s not to say that Apple’s Glasses will be any better at launch. But the company is known for not launching products unless they’re ready.
What we do know is that Apple already has patents that describe AR glasses technologies, like these innovations, that would let Apple make a device that wouldn’t be as bulky as these headsets are expected to be.