From folding phones to vertical TVs, some tech trends seem doomed never to hit the big time. But if there's one thing that's truly failed to become a 'thing', it's smart glasses. Google has tried. Amazon has tried. Next up is Apple – but brand new leaks suggest the company has something unexpected up its sleeve before Apple glasses become a reality.
According to Bloomberg, before it takes the plunge and produces a pair of fully-fledged smart glasses, Apple plans to release a VR headset as a precursor. This "niche, high-end" product is said to serve as a "bridge" to the eventual glasses – but it sounds like it could feature some truly futuristic tech. (Check out our Apple deals page for the best offers available right here and now.)
New story: Apple plans its first headset to be a high-end, niche VR-focused device as a precursor to its future AR glasses. Details on the headset’s design, prescription lens system, inclusion of a fan, features, development hurdles, and more: https://t.co/88JitNhMhCJanuary 21, 2021
Bloomberg says (opens in new tab) the device will be similar in size to the Oculus Quest, and will be able to track hand movements for features such as a virtual keyboard. The headset is reported to feature a fabric exterior (perhaps similar to the AirPods Max?), and, rather unusually for Apple, a built-in fan.
But perhaps the most impressive details are regarding the internals. Apple is allegedly testing “some of its most advanced and powerful chips," including some that eclipse even the incredible M1 chip found in the new MacBook Pro and MacBook Air. While we're unsure exactly how Apple intends the device to be used, if it packs an even better chip than its high-end laptops, could the company be intending this new creation to become our primary device?
If we're honest, we're a little surprised by this development. For one thing, even the best VR headsets aren't exactly known for being stylish or desirable objects. While we can imagine Apple making a pair of glasses that look as nice as its Apple Watch or AirPods, we're not quite sure we can see it making VR headsets cool. Could we soon be looking at a rare flop for Apple?
Secondly, VR headsets such as the Oculus Quest 2 are generally known for gaming. For a while, rumours have suggested that Apple Glasses would feature all manner of AR tools to help with every day tasks such as navigation or exercise – but a powerful VR headset sounds far more geared towards entertainment.
Bloomberg says the headset is tipped to arrive in 2022, with "an expensive price tag". It isn't clear what sort of price we're looking at, but considering this is the company that sells a monitor stand for $999, we wouldn't suggest holding your breath for a bargain.
Time will tell whether the Apple VR headset becomes a reality, but you don't have to wait until then to experience the power of Apple's futuristic M1 chips. Here are the best deals on Apple's new 1 laptops right now.