Apple Could Release AR Glasses and Contact Lenses

For some time, rumor has been going around that Apple could release their own augmented reality...

Photo credit: SnappyGoat

For some time, rumor has been going around that Apple could release their own augmented reality glasses. However, it was recently circulating that the tech giant could actually be planning other mixed reality devices as well, such as an AR/VR headset. Now according to analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, Apple will also release AR glasses and AR contact lenses within a decade.

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In the past few years, Apple has increased its focus on health, fitness, and wearable products like the AirPods and Apple Watch. The company also is repeatedly associated with other wearables.

Kuo outlined three predictions for Apple: an AR/VR headset in 2022m, AR glasses in 2025, and finally, AR contact lenses between 2030 and 2040. Kuo doesn’t get any more specific than that in terms of a release timeframe.

According to MacRumors, Kuo said the lenses will bring electronics from the era of "visible computing" to "invisible computing". He predicts that Apple's MR/AR product roadmap includes three phases: Helmet type by 2022, glasses type by 2025, and contact lens type by 2030-2040.

These AR lenses probably won’t have their own computing power and storage, which suggests they’d likely be connected to an iPhone or other device.

AR/VR headset in 2022

We could see Apple AR and VR headsets as soon as next year. According to Kuo, the prototypes show that it weighs between 200 grams and 300 grams, reports 9to5 Mac. “If Apple can successfully solve the significant technical problems, the final product weight will be reduced to 100–200 grams,” Kuo writes.

Augmented Reality glasses in 2025

Kuo believes Apple will release AR glasses by 2025 “at the earliest” and the company has yet to start prototype production.

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Contact lenses after 2030

Kuo’s final prediction is AR contact lenses, which he believes Apple will launch after 2030. But he sees “no visibility for the launch schedule” yet. The main focus for these contact lenses will be invisible computing and they are unlikely to have independent storage and power technology.

Sam Draper
March 10, 2021

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