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Chapter 8

The Rise of AR Glasses

For years people have been speculating about Apple releasing their AR glasses. Creators designed mockups of what they thought the glasses might look like. Others guessed what hardware would be used to make the glasses work. There have been mockups of Apple apps from their point of view through glasses.

In all reality, Apple - or anyone, probably isn’t ready to release AR glasses just yet. The hardware isn’t there, but we are getting closer. It’s important to remember that this is an evolution of technology - not a revolution. VR has been in development since the 1960s. AR has been on the spectrum debate since the 1990s. It appears that mixed reality is much more doable (although not as sexy sounding).

On June 1, 2023, Meta announced the Meta Quest 3 which will feature a next-gen Qualcomm chipset. Mark Zuckerberg said, “Quest 3 will be the best way to experience mixed and virtual reality in a standalone device.” [49] The headset has a heavy focus on mixed reality via a depth sensor that makes sure that passthrough has real depth perception. However, Meta still has a focus on gameplay and the metaverse.

So no matter what Apple or other companies release before we truly arrive at AR glasses, we shouldn’t be surprised or upset. It puts us one step closer to figuring out how to design and create the best smartphone alternative technology available in the world.

“But people hate wearing glasses” was a comment that was made frequently during the focus group. People switch to contacts to avoid wearing glasses. Even sunglasses can slip off your nose. Glasses get scratched, frames break, and they get lost. AR glasses will always have to be charged. Annoying, right?

On the contrary, AR glasses will exceed the normal perception of glasses. In fact, being hands-free is one of the most exciting benefits of AR glasses. To have access to the same information, entertainment, connected pay, and even car keys all in one device are some of the cool things to look forward to in AR glasses. AR/MR is already being used today in manufacturing, healthcare, and a variety of industries. It cuts training time because people can start working that day, with the headsets showing them steps to follow. It helps simulate dangerous training scenarios and assist in surgeries.

Maybe we won’t wear AR glasses all day, every day. Maybe they’ll replace our laptops and tablets before our smartphones. But the future we envision is one that’s not constantly viewed through a screen. It is one where our hands are free and our world is augmented in a meaningful way.

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