It is anticipated that Apple will unveil its AR Headset during its WWDC 2023 event, along with updates such as iOS 17 and iPadOS 17. Additionally, Apple is reportedly developing another AR product that features a compact design. Notably, a well-known analyst has predicted that Apple will introduce AR Glasses with metalens technology in 2026 or 2027. Further details on this matter can be found below.
As per an article on Medium by analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, Apple is reportedly exploring the use of metalens technology as a replacement for traditional plastic covers in its products. We have previously covered reports that Apple may incorporate this technology into upcoming iPhone and iPad models. Kuo suggests that mass production of metalens covers could begin in 2024, with potential use in iPhone and iPad Pro models for features such as Face ID.
The metalens technology, which is a flat cover utilizing metasurfaces to focus light, may be unfamiliar to some. However, it is reported that metalens covers are thinner compared to what Apple currently employs. Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo speculates that if production proceeds as intended, Apple may adopt metalens covers for its AR Glasses as early as 2026. Furthermore, Apple may also employ the same lens technology for its cameras in the coming years.
Notably, this is the first time detailed information has emerged regarding the potential use of metalens covers for Apple’s AR Glasses. Kuo had previously noted that Apple had temporarily paused development of the AR Glasses to prioritize its AR Headset. While exact launch timelines have not been disclosed, it is anticipated that Apple may announce its AR Headset during the WWDC 2023 event, with consumer availability expected later this year.
Considering the potential use cases, the Apple AR Glasses appear to be geared towards everyday use, while the AR Headset may be more suitable for home use. As a result, the features of the AR Glasses could prioritize utilities such as messages, calls, and emails. On the other hand, the AR Headset may emphasize entertainment, particularly gaming and other forms of immersive experiences. It is important to note that these are speculative observations and Apple ultimately has the final say in its product plans, including the use of metalens covers for the AR Glasses, which could potentially be subject to change.