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Apple’s Augmented Reality headset could arrive as early as 2020

Is this Project Mirrorshades?

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Reports of Apple working on a pair of AR glasses have been swirling around the ether since late 2017. It makes sense, that was when the Cupertino giant released ARKit, its development kit for Augmented Reality apps. When it comes to consumer devices, the iPhone is head-and-shoulders above the competition in terms of realistic AR, and soon it will get a companion headset.

When Ming-Chi Kuo reports on upcoming Apple products, you’d be wise to take heed. He’s been prolific in recent years, and while his timeframe estimates are sometimes off, I can’t think of a single device he’s predicted that hasn’t made it to the market. Well, maybe the AirPower, but that’s supposedly coming this year.

Today, he’s got a new report, stating that Apple’s AR-headset will be going into production at the end of this year, ramping up to a larger production run by the second quarter of 2020.

More about Apple’s possible AR glasses

Early reports of the AR glasses, dubbed “Project Mirrorshades” after a Reddit post by some Foxconn employees, all talk about Apple creating a new fork of iOS for the headset, as they did for the Apple Watch. That might still happen, although Kuo says the first-generation AR glasses won’t be as stand-alone as the latest Apple Watch.

The glasses will rely heavily on being connected to an iPhone, essentially meaning the iPhone will be using the glasses as a screen, rather than the glasses doing the heavy lifting. All the number crunching, rendering, internet access and things like GPS will be handled by the iPhone.

That should mean that the headset will be significantly slimmer than other AR headsets like Microsoft’s HoloLens. Maybe this will be the device that makes AR/VR palatable to the mass market. Nobody wants to wear a heavy headset while walking anywhere, and Google Glass was too limited in what it could do. Maybe they’ll look something like the stealth wearables from North. Whatever they end up looking like, the market follows in Apple’s footsteps.

What do you think? Interested in an AR headset from Apple? Let us know down below in the comments or carry the discussion over to our Twitter or Facebook.

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Maker, meme-r, and unabashed geek with nearly half a decade of blogging experience. If it runs on electricity (or even if it doesn't), Joe probably has one around his office somewhere. His hobbies include photography, animation, and hoarding Reddit gold.

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