Apple’s rumored AR glasses may launch in 2022 as suppliers start to ramp up development

It has been a little while since we last heard about Apple’s rumored augmented reality glasses, but a new report is stoking the flames of anticipation again.

According to a preview of a paywalled report from DigiTimes, Apple supply partners are starting to ramp up development of AR glasses. The preview says that optical component suppliers based out of Taiwan are currently “engaged in the development” of Apple’s oft-rumored AR “smart glasses”, and that the new accessory could be “commercialized in 2022”. That’s based on information provided to the publication from unnamed industry sources.

There isn’t much to go on here because the full report isn’t available just yet. However, even when it is, details will probably be light. Expectations that Apple’s AR glasses could arrive sometime in 2022 have been pretty common since at least the end of 2019, so the idea that development from supply partners is starting to ramp up ahead of that launch date certainly makes sense.

With that in mind, we take a look back at a report from The Information in November of last year. The publication stated that Apple is going to launch an AR headset in 2022, one that could incorporate virtual reality features as well. The full AR glasses, however, were expected to arrive sometime in 2023. That report was corroborated by another from Bloomberg, which stated Apple’s plans for AR included iPad support in 2020 (the new iPad Pro models feature a LiDAR scanner for far superior AR features and capabilities), a VR headset in 2022, and AR glasses in 2023.

Per that report from The Information, here’s how Apple’s design and technology is described:

The technology that Apple will champion here includes “advanced human detection”, “3D scanning”, and more. And as far as design is concerned, the report states that Apple’s first AR headset will look similar to the Facebook Oculus Quest headset, albeit a bit trimmed down. More to that point, Apple is said to be focusing on “lightweight materials” and will reportedly “make heavy use of fabrics” in an effort to keep the headset light and comfortable for long-term use cases.

This is all very exciting, because Apple has been keenly interested in AR for quite some time already. It has been laying the groundwork for AR glasses, and headsets, since the launch of the original ARKit. The only “bad news” here is that we still have some time to wait before these new products see the light of day, apparently.

What are you most excited about in this case? Full-fledged AR “smart glasses”, or an AR/VR headset? Let us know in the comments.