Apple’s long-rumoured augmented reality (AR) glasses will be as powerful as its Mac computers when they reportedly launch at the end of 2022.
The prediction comes from analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who has a decent track record when it comes to predicting future Apple products and features. Kuo shared the AR glasses prediction in a note sent to investors Friday (via CNBC).
However, the prediction shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise. Apple’s been moving towards using its own silicon across basically all of its products. The iPhone and iPad use A-series chips designed by Apple, and more recently the company transitioned its Mac line from Intel’s x86 CPUs to Apple-designed M-series ARM chips.
Specifically, Kuo noted that Apple’s glasses would run on a processor based on the M1. Apple’s M1 chip impressed with its excellent performance and low power consumption. The latter would be a major benefit in something like AR glasses where size and weight are significant factors (more efficiency means Apple could shrink the batteries and thus get a smaller, lighter product).
At the same time, the high performance of an M1-based chip could help set Apple’s glasses apart from competitors by allowing the glasses to perform intensive tasks without needing to offload work to a connected smartphone.
That doesn’t mean the Apple AR glasses won’t need a connected phone — previous reports say that the glasses will require a connected iPhone. However, that connection will likely be something more like the Apple Watch, which uses its connection to the iPhone to share data rather than processing.
Kuo backed that up, writing that Apple would position the glasses as an accessory for the iPhone, not a replacement.
Augmented reality refers to technology used to overlay digital images and information over the real world. Tech enthusiasts have looked to smart glasses as the main avenue to deliver AR experiences, although many smartphones now have built-in AR capabilities. Should Apple’s glasses prove successful, it could push the market forward and encourage other companies to release their own versions of AR glasses.