The tech industry whispers about upcoming Apple augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) wearable devices that have been in circulation since at least 2017, now turning in firm dates. Apple plans to announce its new immersive headset in January of 2023, just six months from now, according to longtime, and generally credible, Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo.
The potential release window for the long-rumored device has shifted several times. Back in 2017, analysts believed it could come by 2020. Then, in 2019, the estimated time shifted to 2022. Of course, the pandemic, and the resulting supply chain constraints, likely changed Apple’s plans across the board.
But now, with the limits of the pandemic narrowing, and the concept of the immersive Internet now on Wall Street’s radar for Metaverse marketing, it’s time for Apple to finally begin its entry into the space and possibly replicate that success. Ready to go with its industry-changing iPhone.
Apple leaders are pointing to a new immersive Internet product, but details are scarce
During a conversation with China Daily on June 13, Apple CEO Tim Cook was asked about the company’s plans for AR and VR. “We’re Still In The Very Early Inning Of How” [AR] will evolve,” Cook said from its Cupertino, Calif., headquarters. “I couldn’t be more excited about the opportunities we see in this space… stay tuned, and you’ll see what we have to offer.”
That last comment, delivered with a shy smile, has been typical of answers to questions like this over the years. Cook instead points to the development of the Apple ARKit development platform for AR apps (about 14,000 ARKit apps are available on the App Store), while promising that “something” new is in the works.
And while Apple’s Metaverse products are widely anticipated by industry insiders, the company was absent from membership in the Metaverse Standards forum earlier this week, despite the inclusion of some of the biggest names in tech. If Apple keeps its distance, it could spark concerns that have arisen around the company’s walled-off for its App Store, which came under fire in 2020 during a lawsuit filed by Epic Games .
When asked about the importance of organizations like Forum, Wipro’s chief technology officer Subha Tatavarty said, “The metaverse exists from different companies right now – and many companies are setting up their own metaverse.” “At some point these metaverses will have to start talking to each other, and that’s the big area where protocols need to be defined—in sharing information.”
Apple’s debut of AR or VR devices will impact the way consumers view technologies
In general, the missing part of Apple’s immersive Internet story has been VR. Cook has repeatedly promoted AR, rather than VR, as the company’s focus, which he believes has a distinct impact on the user. AR, in Cook’s view, allows the user to interact more intuitively with people and the places around them. Still, rumors about an Apple immersive device refer to both an AR and a VR device, or perhaps even one that works as a hybrid, shifting between the two dynamics, somewhat similar to what Magic Leap recently did. is displayed.
However, based on Apple’s hardware history, its first face-mounted wearable will likely initially serve as an accessory for the iPhone, just like the Apple Watch. Apple’s first wearable watch, was another device that eventually emerged as a rumor before making its consumer debut in 2015.
And, if the Apple Watch, which was announced in 2014, and didn’t go on sale until nearly a year later, is any indication, if Apple makes a January 2023 AR or VR hardware announcement, consumers will probably have to wait until then. Until at least the second half of the year to buy whatever’s on offer. Until then, Snap may have a new version of its Spectrum AR smartglasses available for sale, and Meta may be rolling out an update for its Ray-Ban Stories smartglasses, informed by its Project Area smartglass research. can go or not.
The race to dress the Metaverse in a pair of mainstream-friendly smartglasses has been on for years, but tech insiders agree that the in-your-face battle won’t really start until Apple enters the fray. .