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Apple Moving Forward on Semitransparent Lenses for Upcoming AR Headset

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Apple and Foxconn have reached a key milestone in the development of Apple's long-rumored augmented reality headset, with the semitransparent lenses for the device moving from prototype to trial production, reports The Information.


Apple is developing the lenses on a single production line at a Foxconn factory in Chengdu in southwestern China, where most of Apple’s iPad production is centered, the person said.

Apple has multiple phases in the development of new products, starting with periods of prototyping in California and China, during which it makes dozens and hundreds of units, respectively, of the products and their parts. As of May, the lenses had entered a stage known as engineering validation test, or EVT, during which Apple typically makes thousands of units, said the person familiar with the matter. During that period, Apple has locked down the design and begins testing its suitability for mass production.
The report indicates that the lenses (and thus the headset itself) are still at least a year or two away from mass production, and various rumors have pointed toward a launch around 2022.

A recent report from Bloomberg's Mark Gurman indicated that Apple's AR and VR projects have been hampered by internal divisions over whether Apple should emphasize graphics and processing power in a design that would connect wirelessly to a nearby hub or a more personal approach with lesser capabilities but which can be contained entirely within the headset.

Apple is said to have multiple AR and VR projects in the works beyond the initial headset, known by the code name of N301, with a sleeker pair of AR glasses known as N421 that could launch in 2023.

Article Link: Apple Moving Forward on Semitransparent Lenses for Upcoming AR Headset
 
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Blackstick

macrumors 6502a
Aug 11, 2014
746
3,173
Sunny South Florida
It'll be an interesting marketing experiment.

I'm 36 and am lucky to have not required glasses in my life, as of yet.

I know my days are numbered and some day soon I'll probably need supermarket readers, but how does Apple convince people that don't need glasses... to wear their expensive option? The watch was an easy sell, most people that stopped wearing a watch recognized the utility of wearing an Apple one.
 
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incoherent_1

macrumors 6502a
Oct 19, 2016
601
1,022
These won’t serve any useful purpose and be an overpriced fashion accessory.

At least, that’s what I said about Apple Watch when it was released, and I’m an owner of a S5 today and love it, so in other words I’ll be wearing these glasses in 5-6 years telling people how much I love them! Ha!
 
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ian87w

macrumors 68020
Feb 22, 2020
2,341
2,716
Indonesia
These won’t serve any useful purpose and be an overpriced fashion accessory.

At least, that’s what I said about Apple Watch when it was released, and I’m an owner of a S5 today and love it, so in other words I’ll be wearing these glasses in 5-6 years telling people how much I love them! Ha!
I believe people were saying the same thing about the Apple Watch at the beginning.

Branded frames can cost thousands of dollars, if not more, without any functionality other than fashion accessory. If Apple can make one that's also functional, it can sell.
 
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NMBob

macrumors 65816
Sep 18, 2007
1,325
1,216
New Mexico
Since Mr. Cook wears glasses one day in a keynote he will say something like, all during this presentation I have been wearing them. :cool:

And then they will show a video feed where the "naked filter" has been applied the whole time, because that's one way to not be nervous when talking in front of a group -- picture them naked. Imagining it will no longer be necessary.
 
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Rogifan

macrumors Core
Nov 14, 2011
22,249
27,951
I get Apple working on AR glasses. VR puzzles me as it seems to be mostly about gaming which Apple has never really focused on.
 
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anthogag

macrumors 6502
Jan 15, 2015
429
488
Canada
I personally don't like the normal looking glasses websites are showing in pictures. Most people don't like to wear glasses if it is not required; people are appearance conscious. If I'm going to wear AR glasses it would be more purposeful. I am not going to wear AR glasses all day and if I am wearing it it is okay to look like the Terminator.

Will wearing AR glasses somehow screw-up sight where people actually have to start wearing prescription glasses? There are some news articles stating smartphone use has increased number of people needing prescription glasses.
 
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ThunderSkunk

macrumors 68040
Dec 31, 2007
3,059
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Milwaukee Area
I believe people were saying the same thing about the Apple Watch at the beginning.
To say it about these is even more shortsighted. Even the rough crude early versions of this concept in the 90s & with the later google glass project made the sheer potential utility of this clear to practically everyone developing in every industry. Apples approach to it in the market will, as always, be tightly focused & limited at first, to ween the wider public on to it gradually, but it won’t take long before the demand to open it up will be irreversible. A couple centuries from now, these will be a foregone conclusion. They already are an inevitability in industry, & downstream of that, anywhere people are active and benefit from visual information access.
 
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Jim Lahey

macrumors 6502a
Apr 8, 2014
989
1,706
Sunnyvale
As a spectacle wearer I’m curious to see what happens here. I can’t imagine an easy path to having varifocal prescription lenses made up...
 
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Mr. Dee

macrumors 68030
Dec 4, 2003
2,813
4,298
Jamaica
It'll be an interesting marketing experiment.

I'm 36 and am lucky to have not required glasses in my life, as of yet.

I know my days are numbered and some day soon I'll probably need supermarket readers, but how does Apple convince people that don't need glasses... to wear their expensive option? The watch was an easy sell, most people that stopped wearing a watch recognized the utility of wearing an Apple one.
The first thing they will say is, everyday we take the risk when walk out into the open environment. Even though nature provided us eye lashes to protect against particles getting into our eyes, it’s not enough. Not only does Apple Glass offer full protection but it helps to give you information at a glance reduces distraction and increases focus. When paired with Apple Watch, AirPods and iPhone, not only will you be more connected but protected.
 
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macduke

macrumors G4
Jun 27, 2007
11,299
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Central U.S.
I think it should initially be a companion device to the iPhone, relying on it for most of the processing power. Then, over time, they can separate it more from the iPhone much like they did with the Apple Watch. It’s just the nature of how these things work. I’d rather have more features in a pair of glasses that looks fairly normal and I think that’s the best way to achieve it. The main problem is that’s a lot of data to shuttle back and forth wirelessly.
 
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citysnaps

macrumors 604
Oct 10, 2011
6,964
11,928
San Francisco
It'll be an interesting marketing experiment.

I'm 36 and am lucky to have not required glasses in my life, as of yet.

I know my days are numbered and some day soon I'll probably need supermarket readers, but how does Apple convince people that don't need glasses... to wear their expensive option? The watch was an easy sell, most people that stopped wearing a watch recognized the utility of wearing an Apple one.

Apple's Glasses are not being marketed to correct vision. Rather, they're the visual interface into Apple's world of augmented reality experiences and technologies. That the lenses can be made to correct for vision deficiencies is icing.

Kind of like AirPods and Beats headphone, in that you only wear them when you want to listen to music or make phone calls. And not something that's in/on your ears 24/7.
 
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spinedoc77

macrumors G3
Jun 11, 2009
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I can dig the AR stuff, but what I want is to see my phone screen on the glasses. Would be nice to be able to drive my phone while my hands are occupied.
 
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nattK

macrumors 6502
Sep 17, 2014
340
740
The Upside Down
I'm not sure what I think about putting something semitransparent over my eyes. Are they going to use the camera to project my surroundings onto the display? If not, the glasses would just reduce my range of vision.
 
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futbalguy

macrumors 6502
May 16, 2007
275
50
I personally don't like the normal looking glasses websites are showing in pictures. Most people don't like to wear glasses if it is not required; people are appearance conscious. If I'm going to wear AR glasses it would be more purposeful. I am not going to wear AR glasses all day and if I am wearing it it is okay to look like the Terminator.

Will wearing AR glasses somehow screw-up sight where people actually have to start wearing prescription glasses? There are some news articles stating smartphone use has increased number of people needing prescription glasses.

Currently and I expect in the future, AR is used in public so the glasses are expected to look good. I hope AR is like Apple Watch and it can provide value throughout my day.
 
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JosephAW

macrumors 68040
May 14, 2012
3,572
4,205
Hopefully there's a transparent mode for AR and an opaque mode for full immersion and movie watching.
obviously when pared with AirPods Pro with 3D audio it'll be cool x10.
 
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IamTimCook

macrumors member
Dec 13, 2016
52
63
Apple's AR and VR projects have been hampered by internal divisions over whether Apple should emphasize graphics and processing power in a design that would connect wirelessly to a nearby hub or a more personal approach with lesser capabilities but which can be contained entirely within the headset.

Does the “Apple Glasses” R&D group not know that Apple makes mini computers that fit in your pocket? 😜🤣
 
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