Apple Glass 'virtual reality' specs rumoured to launch in March 2021 for £410

APPLE'S long-rumoured "smart spectacles" are expected to cost around $499/£410 when they launch in March 2021, insiders claim.

The augmented reality headset is supposedly called Apple Glass – and remains a top-secret project.

They're reportedly designed to overlay computer-generated images onto the real world around you.

Augmented reality is when virtual images are placed on top of real-world views.

A simple example is a Snapchat filter, or the Pokémon Go game.

Putting AR inside a pair of spectacles could be the next step in portable computing, potentially replacing the smartphone.

Now respected industry analyst and leaker Jon Prosser says that these devices are going to be called Apple Glass.

And they're said to retail for $499 – which is about £410 in the UK, though £499 seems likelier.

Speaking on his Front Page Tech show on YouTube, Prosser said that prescription lenses will be available for an additional cost.

And he says that they could be announced as soon as September, alongside the iPhone 12.

However, he also thinks it's more likely that the Apple Glass will be announced in March 2021 – if social distancing is still in place for September.

In any case, the Apple Glass headset isn't expected to land in stores until the final quarter of 2021.

Prosser previously claimed that the Apple Glass will be 5G-ready.

That means they'll reportedly be capable of supporting the ultra-fast internet speeds offered by new 5G networks.

Constantly scanning the environment and adding sophisticated CGI onto the real-world could require very fast internet speeds – which would justify the addition of 5G.

It would also mean that the glasses would be capable of being used even when apart from a paired iPhone.

The Apple Glasses are expected to look like traditional spectacles, which would be a contrast to bulky AR and VR headsets we've seen previously.

Virtual Reality vs Augmented Reality – what's the difference?

Here's what you need to know…

  • Virtual reality involves using a headset to simulate a virtual world
  • In a VR world, everything you see will be computer-generated
  • Popular VR headsets include the HTC Vive and Facebook's Oculus Rift
  • Augmented reality lets you see the real world, but "augments" (or adds on) computer-generated elements
  • This means you'll be able to see computer images overlaid onto your real-world view
  • For instance, you could wear glasses that overlay directions onto the road in front of you
  • Popular AR headsets include Microsoft's HoloLens and the Google Glass spectacles

Apple has invested a lot in virtual tech in recent years, crafting handing out tools for creating AR and VR tools such as ARKit and RealityKit, as well as creative tools like Reality Composer and Reality Converter.

It's also loaded a LiDAR Scanner – used for AR and VR tools – onto the new iPad Pro, and will likely do the same for its upcoming iPhones.

Apple hasn't confirmed plans to debut any smart glasses just yet, but it's likely that the tech giant is working on such a device.

Most of its competitors have already dabbled in virtual reality and augmented reality, including Google, Microsoft, Facebook, Samsung, LG, and HTC.

Previous reports have suggested the new device uses a "catadioptric system" that uses curved mirrors and lenses to combine refraction and reflection.

This means that Apple could ditch the magnifying lenses you find in most traditional VR headsets, potentially reducing the overall weight.

In a patent that surfaced on the web last year, Apple admitted that current virtual reality and augmented reality headsets are too heavy.

"If care is not taken, a head-mounted display may be cumbersome and tiring to wear," the firm said. "Extended use of a head-mounted display with this type of optical system may be uncomfortable."

In other news, Apple fans have mocked up an incredible concept "iPhone Flip".

The tech giant appears to be working on a new feature that lets you edit your texts after you've sent them.

And, a clever iPhone trick lets you find any photo in your camera album in seconds.

Would you be interested in a pair of Apple Glass smart specs? Let us know in the comments.

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