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Apple Glasses prototype is top secret, but Oppo’s Air Glass could be close

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While it’s likely that only a small number of people in Apple Park have seen the prototype Apple Glasses, I can’t help but feel that Oppo’s Air Glass is giving us some sort of preview of the likely state of the game.

It still looks a long way from a finished product, but at the same time, it’s a lot closer to a glasses product than the clunky mixed reality headsets we’d expect to see first. I also think Oppo might be on the right track with one particular design aspect…

Background

Apple is believed to have short, medium, and long-term goals in this area.

The first product we expect to see is the Apple Mixed Reality Headset. It will likely be broadly similar to today’s virtual reality (VR) headsets, but with external cameras to enable augmented reality (AR) content. Facebook parent company Meta is believed to be working on a similar device.

The Apple Headset team reportedly demonstrated the device to the company’s board of directors, implying that it had reached an advanced stage of development.

[The report] said Apple is working on augmented reality versions of core iPhone apps for use on the headset, as well as new apps “that will perform tasks like streaming immersive content and hosting virtual meetings.”

The first version of the headset is expected to be a relatively bulky and expensive device with high-resolution displays, a powerful chip and advanced sensors. Some previous reports had the headset priced well over $1,000. It may be primarily aimed at enthusiasts and the developer community.

The next one will probably be a more affordable and probably more compact version of the same.

The second generation of Apple’s AR/VR headset is expected to come in two different models, Kuo said. The former will be an upgrade to a first generation headset with improved hardware, while the latter will be a more affordable model.

It is believed that Apple’s long-term goal is what are commonly referred to as Apple Glasses. This describes a device that looks more like regular glasses but is capable of overlaying AR content. This concept was first implemented in the ill-fated Google Glass.

Air Glass looks like Apple glasses

Oppo first announced its Air Glass device just before the end of the year for China only, but edge now got to try them.

Instead of being permanently built into a pair of goggles, Air Glass offers a two-piece construction. The system described above has a shallow magnetic bar that vaguely resembles the Apple MagSafe port in the middle of the stem. To use it, you put on a pair of specially designed metal eyeglass frames with a matching magnetic tab on the temple. The frames are regular glasses, but they fit the lens system on the right side, and you have a Google Glass-like augmented reality monocular display. […]

When you pair the Air Glass via Bluetooth with an Oppo phone (again, only for China), you get a green head-up display that obscures a small but significant part of your vision – about the size of my palm to me. a foot from my right eye. The virtual overlay looks like something a cyborg killer would use in a 1995 dystopian future, but mostly in a good way: it’s high-contrast, visible enough in everything but bright sunlight, and doesn’t look like a washed-out phone screen. some full color AR displays […]

The low-tech magnetic lugs blend right into the frame and feel like they could be easily added to a wide variety of styles. The magnetic mount between the 30g lens and the frame is pretty secure, but it’s trivially easy to remove the AR piece and pop it into the case, even if you wear prescription glasses all the time, making it clear you don’t have glasses. a secret screen stuck to your face. It’s a solution that takes people’s concerns about privacy and distractions seriously, rather than just trying to hide what they’re worried about in a smaller package. It also helps that this generation of Air Glass doesn’t have a camera, though Oppo says it doesn’t rule out that option for future versions.

Edge’Adi Robertson says it’s still cutting edge technology, with a three-hour battery life and a “rough” experience in terms of software, but she’s convinced of the design approach. Namely, a fairly compact and lightweight unit that can be easily attached to ordinary glasses.

I really think this could very well be the direction Apple has taken. The goggles themselves should be normal (and have a wide range of styles) and also have a clip-on unit for equipment. This, for example, will allow people to switch between glasses and sunglasses.

I didn’t expect Apple launch nothing that gross, but I’m guessing the current generation of prototype Apple Glasses looks something like this. The company has time to work on a more Apple-like design before an expected 2024/2025 launch date.

Images: Yuga Tech

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