Apple's Reality Pro combines virtual reality and augmented reality in a much lighter package than anything available now, but real AR glasses get pushed back indefinitely.
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While Apple's mixed-reality headset is coming in June, its attempt to create a lighter, day-to-day pair of augmented reality glasses appears to have run into technical difficulties.
Still, Apple's Reality Pro is a niche product that will strap a monitor with external cameras over the user's eyes.
The AR glasses, by contrast, are said to be more like normal glasses with the capability to overlay data on the real world, and thus far more usable on a day-to-day basis. No timeframe is currently attached to the project, Bloomberg reported.
One of the biggest hurdles appears to be the battery for this follow-up product. Attaching it to the device itself would make it heavy, and fuel safety concerns. But even if a workaround is found here, battery life would then rear its head, amid doubts that it could last a whole day.
With a cost expected to run to $3,000 or more, Apple's Reality Pro will have an ultra-high resolution monitor, full Mac M2 chip, separate AR/VR chip, and 10 pass-through cameras to enable users to wear it while moving around for an AR overlay of the real world. It will also have a variety of sensors including eye tracking that will make it suitable for full virtual reality gaming and work environments.
Meta's best-selling Quest 2 VR headset runs $399 and is quite large — essentially like strapping a curved smartphone across your face — while its slightly smaller and substantially more advanced Quest Pro runs $1,499. Apple's version is expected to be much smaller and lighter, but also twice the price.
Google Glass 2?
Apple's AR glasses are similar in concept to the Google Glass spectacles that failed to gain traction in a brief run from 2013 to 2015. Although there is an enterprise version for the workplace still available.
Google itself is rebooting the consumer-focused concept. At its I/O conference in May, Google announced a new version of AR glasses with the ability to translate conversations into different languages in real time, using a text-based AR overlay.
A blog post from Google and Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai included a video clip announcing the new Google Glass.