Following the recent renewed enthusiasm for the arrival of Apple's long-awaited AR wearables, which have been the subject of numerous reports and rumors in recent years, some of this excitement can now be somewhat subdued.
This time, however, the Apple Smartglasses news comes more from Apple's own internal team than analysts citing sources not mentioned.
At a meeting with more than 1,000 employees at the Steve Jobs Theater, Mike Rockwell, Apple's vice president, was responsible for VR and AR initiatives, unveiling the AR hardware team's product roadmap. Instead of 2020 or 2021, the CEO told his team that a disconnected AR headset would instead be named in 2022, according to a CNBC report in which The Information is referred to the details of the meeting
In 2023, AR Smartglasses, codenamed N421
Both products would display 3D content in the user's field of view, similar to how ARKit works on iPhones and iPads today.
The product roadmap confirms earlier reports that Apple's first wearable AR is a hybrid VR / AR headset, currently under the code name T288. Recent reports of code discovered in iOS 13 builds also relate to testing an AR headset.
Analyst reports and rumors about the timing of Apple's arrival AR wearables have generally agreed on 2020 as an event horizon, although this was a well-known analyst Gene Munster has postponed the expected period to December 2021 in a report released last year.
More recently, analyst Ming-Chi Kuo predicted that Apple's AR Wearable will be announced in the first half of 2020 and shipping will begin next year. Apple's internal meeting report lacks the mention of an iPad Pro with rear depth sensor, which is quite realistic given that Samsung has begun integrating similar components into its current generation Galaxy phones.
The recent reports particularly concerned the following: Apple attributed leadership, will disappoint AR enthusiasts, the customized roadmap reflects the timetable for AR devices from other technology giants. Facebook's AR Smartglasses will not arrive before 2023, according to recent reports, while Snap CEO Evan Spiegel predicts that fully immersive AR smartglasses will be out of mainstream adoption for another 10 years.
But can the AR industry, especially the component startups that rely on consumer electronics manufacturers to mass-produce and ship AR headsets, have to survive in time for the market to mature? With Magic Leap, the AR unicorn with about $ 2.4 billion in funding, the answer to this question is as puzzling as ever.