This week’s headlines have been all about Apple’s purchase of AR company NextVR, and for good reason.
Apple’s been rumoured to be working on a custom AR/VR headset similar to the now defunct Google Glass for years and NextVR’s overt focus on the area lends serious credence to the industry rumblings.
But, it’s not been all good news for Apple. Since the new broke a mob of naysayers has come out of the woodwork claiming Apple’s on the verge of making a huge mistake, highlighting the painstakingly terrible experience offered by Google’s first generation wearable. But for us here at Trusted Reviews’ these people are well and truly wrong as, if any company’s going to take AR to the masses, it’ll be Apple. Here’s why.
Apple has a habit of taking products we don’t need (I’m looking at you, iPad) and making them painfully popular. It might be a few years before the new AR glasses become the norm, but iPhone owners will eventually succumb to the flashy Apple specs.
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Google made quite a hash of its short-lived Glass product when it came out in 2014. The tech-infused spectacles came with a hefty $1,500 price tag but looked a bit like a low-budget sci-fi prop (see above.)
The glasses also featured a built-in camera, which made a lot of people uncomfortable because of obvious privacy reasons. Partly because of this, people who wore the product swiftly earned the unflattering nickname of ‘Glassholes.’
The real problem for the glasses was that it wasn’t clear what they were supposed to do. The wearable could take pictures quickly, but it had no real world use or unique functions. It was basically a very expensive, novelty toy that made an interesting talking point at parties.
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This is where Apple comes in, because that company thrives on making expensive, novelty toys that people like to talk about at parties.
However you feel about Apple, you can’t deny that the company’s products always look particularly appealing. Unlike Google, Apple isn’t likely to fumble the aesthetics on the product – which is important because wearables shouldn’t make you look like an absolute dingus (sorry Google.)
A new leak from Jon Prosser at Front Page Tech also suggests that Apple’s Glass product will be camera-free. So it’s clear that the company is trying to avoid repeating Google’s mistakes.
That same leak suggests that Apple Glass will rely on your iPhone for processing, rather than have an on-board processor to do the heavy lifting. Because of this, we could be looking at a price tag as low as $499.
Then there’s the NextVR purchase, which will give it most of the tech it needs to deliver a compelling AR/VR experience.
Related: Apple buys NextVR
If you put all this together, you have a low-priced, good-looking pair of glasses that gives Apple devotees an easy way to play around with immersive media. This might be limited to augmented reality, but it could have elements of VR thrown in.
Does this sound like a necessary bit of tech? No, but it doesn’t need to be – Apple will likely pitch this as something that’s more fun than functional.
Rumours suggest that the company will reveal the product either later this year or early in 2021, but the product itself will only hit the shelves in late 2021. That’s a whole lot of time for iPhone owners and Apple bloggers to work up some excitement – and for keen AR enthusiasts such as ourselves to start saving up the pennies.