Apple’s AR glasses will have an aluminum frame, LiDAR sensor and screens in both lenses with a starting price of $499.
Maybe the most pertinent information on Apple Glass is the price. Prosser says Apple is targeting at $499 launch price, which would be very affordable compared to the $2,300 Magic Leap charges for its half-baked Leap 1 or the $3,500 for Microsoft’s HoloLens 2. It’d also be a third of the cost of Google Glass when launched for $1,500 in 2013.
According to Prosser, the plan is to link Apple Glass with an iPhone, similar to how the original Apple Watch needed to be paired with one in order to work. Early prototypes of the device featured wireless charging capabilities as well as a LiDAR sensor.
These glasses would start at $499, although they are still some ways off being ready for market. Apparently a late 2021 or early 2022 release date is targeted at the moment.
For an accessory to the iPhone, $499 may be the magic number to sway AR skeptics into shelling out just to have the new new. Recall: the iPad launched at $499 and the Apple Watch started at $349. Both priced under $500. Both products became a smashing success for Apple. It’d also be well within the Oculus Quest, which starts at $399 (yes, VR is different from AR, but they’re both headsets).
LIDAR SCANNER, BUT NO CAMERA This is interesting. Prosser says Apple Glass won’t have a built-in camera, but will have a LiDAR scanner on the right temple. Without a camera, how would the AR glasses “see” the real world? While a regular camera is able to see in more detail, a LiDAR scanner, if powerful enough can more accurately recognize objects and environments and analyze depth.
Machine learning could then be applied to understand and identify obstacles. The implications of not including a camera would fall in line with Apple’s firm stance on privacy. When Google Glass launched, it was received with vitriol because of its camera, which allowed creeps to always record without bystanders necessarily knowing they were being filmed. These “Glassholes” were buzzkills and helped bury the headset with consumers. Apple could avoid the same disaster by assuring people there’s no camera for photos or video recording.
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