In the early 60s they were known as "granny glasses. In 1967 they were called "Lennon Glasses" after the late Beatle started wearing them. In 1998, Steve Jobs switched his glasses to the Lunor Ideal i 380, a round rimless model. Now, this style of eyewear is known as "Steve Jobs Glasses" and newly leaked information suggests that Apple plans to offer a special "Steve Jobs Heritage Edition" of its AR powered Apple Glass.
Apple is reportedly releasing a mixed reality headset next year followed by Apple Glass in 2022 or 2023
This comes from tipster Jon Prosser (via AppleInsider
) who has been leaking information about the device. Earlier this month he said that Apple Glass would look like a pair of traditional glasses
with a LiDar scanner on the right temple. This is the time-of-flight sensor employed on the latest iPad Pro
models and is used to produce more accurate depth measurements for AR, portraits, and other features that are based on these measurements. Prosser also said that the wearable will not have any extra cameras. This is probably a good decision on Apple's part because one of the reasons why Google Glass failed as a consumer product was its "creepiness factor." Some bars refused entry to patrons wearing the device
because of the possibility that users were taking pictures of customers without the subjects knowing. Thus, the term "Glasshole" was created
Tipster Jon Prosser says that Apple is working on a special pair of Apple Glass that resembles Steve Jobs' rimless round glasses
Some of the information that Prosser leaked dovetails with older reports about the device. Back in 2016 there was a report that Apple was working on a way to wirelessly pair smartglasses with the iPhone
so that the handset could handle the heavy processing required. That is similar to how the processing for the Apple Watch
was handled until the Series 3 timepieces came along. So while Apple Glass users will need their iPhone in the vicinity in order to drive their AR glasses, subsequent models might drop that requirement.
While Prosser says that the Apple Glass will start at $499 and support 5G, the "Steve Jobs Heritage Edition" would cost more. The tipster says, "They are also working on a prototype, a Steve Jobs Heritage Edition which is "similar to how we had an Apple Watch Edition, like that ridiculous $10,000 gold one when it first came out." Now Prosser isn't saying that a "Steve Jobs Heritage Edition" of Apple Glass will be $10,000, just that it will be very expensive.
Considering the rimless look of Jobs' glasses and the thin arms, there is a legitimate question about where the components would go without showing. Prosser himself says, "So the transparent lenses. So, I have no idea how it actually works, but I know traditionally I say traditionally with current versions of AR glasses or anything like that, there's like a little thing projected into the corner of a lens. This is both lenses have displays, they're integrated displays that show you information." The technology to pull off such a design could have been acquired by Apple back in 2018 when it purchased Akonia Holographics. The company produces displays for AR glasses
Of course, not everyone believes that a "Steve Jobs Heritage Edition" is being developed. Bloomberg's Mark Gurman says that the rumor is "fiction." He also noted
that there is some confusion because next year Apple is planning on announcing a device known internally at Apple as "N301." This would be a mixed reality (VR/AR) headset. "N421" would be unveiled in 2022 or 2023 and this is the AR device that we have been referring to as Apple Glass. This information actually fits perfectly with a report released back in 2019
by, appropriately enough, The Information
. Back then, the latter said that the "N301" looks like a slimmer version of the Oculus Quest VR headset.
Would Apple ever risk the reputation of its iconic co-founder by putting his name on one of its products? It's very unlikely and would no doubt be seen as a money-grabbing ploy by Apple.