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Apple is still working on smart glasses, but it's going to be a long wait

An example of what Apple Glass could look like

Last updated

The long-rumored "Apple Glass" may take much longer to arrive than previously thought, with it now not expected to arrive for several years.

The Apple Vision Pro has been a major first step for Apple's mixed reality device ambitions. However, in the pursuit of lighter and more powerful hardware, rumors of augmented reality smart glasses have persisted.

Though development is apparently still ongoing, it may not arrive anytime soon.

According to Bloomberg on Sunday, it's still very early in the development of the smart glasses. The intention is for them to be lightweight spectacles that provide AR functionality.

There have been speculation that Apple could bring out the smart glasses in a few years, this includes potential launches by 2026 or 2027 at the earliest.

This may be a very optimistic view, if the report is to be believed. Mark Gurman says that no-one he's spoken to within Apple believes the glasses will be ready for release in just a few years.

Gurman adds that it is probable that Apple will spend a few more years trying to prove the AR glasses are viable. He bases this on how the Vision Products Group has thousands of employees, and is continuing to hire.

An even longer wait

The rumors of Apple's AR smartglasses have been around for almost as long as the headset versions, with rumor stories spanning half a decade.

The idea of Apple Glass is to create a headset reminiscent of a pair of spectacles, with little additional weight or mass. Users will be able to use them as regular spectacles but with the added prospect of AR elements appearing in their vision.

Such a product is much harder to develop than the current headset-based device for many reasons. Aside from added mass, Apple would also have to come up with a way to enable AR to work despite the users needing to actually see the world around them, not in a composite as with the Apple Vision Pro.

Early versions suggested a spectacles-like device could be used, with an iPhone slid in to work like a screen. Later, rumors proposed that it would work more like actual spectacles.

Over the years, it has been claimed that AR glasses have entered various stages of production. In January 2023, the work on Apple Glass apparently stalled, so that engineers could instead focus on the hardware launch of the Apple Vision Pro later in the year.