AR glasses are coming… who will take the lead?

Robert Scoble tells us why Apple is positioned to be an early leader in AR technology and how Tesla could potentially enter the game.


September 15, 2020

Virtual reality (VR) is in for a big week with Facebook set to announce its latest Oculus headset.

But when it comes to headset tech, another company is laying the groundwork for what could be a much more ubiquitous product: augmented reality (AR) glasses.

That company is Apple. We caught up with Robert Scoble — a prominent tech writer — who told us what they have in store.

Don’t expect Apple’s event to have much AR news

But the writing is clearly on the wall.

Written with Irena Cronin, Scoble’s new book The Infinite Retina outlines how AR and VR will usher in the next tech revolution, and how Apple is well positioned to compete in the space.

According to Scoble, Apple will likely launch AR glasses next year, giving it a head start of 2-3 years on all competitors.

Apple’s mission is to make computing more personal

And the Cupertino company has all the pieces in place to bring an AR product to the masses:

  • Seamless integration with an iPhone, AirPods, and Apple Watch
  • Hardware manufacturing expertise and a robust supply chain
  • Its own operating system, chip, and App Store

Any buyer of these AR glasses will likely have an iPhone, so Apple can offer a lightweight product at a reasonable price point.

“I’d expect something in the $500-700 range,” he says. “A competitor that has to put 5G, battery, and computing power in a headset will be at a big disadvantage.”

AR tech will reshape countless industries

Including education, healthcare, fintech, manufacturing, transportation, media and retail as outlined in Scoble’s book. 

Apple’s AR glasses will have an immediate effect on health. The company has already positioned the Apple Watch as a health play and is expected to announce new personal tracking features at its event today.

AR glasses can monitor your heart rate, and give advance warning of heart disease and other health problems.

There is one very under-the-radar competitor: Tesla  

Per Scoble, the camera and radar technology that the electric vehicle company is using to usher in autonomous driving is ready-made for an AR glass product.

“Tesla is a total wild card but could easily take their existing car technology and go consumer,” he says.

Elon pushing glasses on Twitter? That would be glorious.

***

Here’s an unofficial demo of what Apple AR glasses might look like (via VRrOOM info):

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