Augmented Reality, or AR, is the next computing platform, and Apple, Inc. AAPL and Alphabet, Inc. GOOGLE GOOG is the leader in that mission, loop fund co-founder gene munster Said in a note.
Google’s AR Glasses: Munster said that Google previewed its AR glasses at its I/O 2022, but did not announce a timing of availability. The analyst expects it to be available by 2024.
Google’s AR Glasses preview sheds light on Google Translate’s AR implementation, which provides subtitles to one’s experience of the world, the analyst said. This isn’t surprising, given that real-time translation has been a predictable use case for AR wearables, he said.
Privacy will be the biggest challenge with Google’s AR Glasses, the analyst said, basing its cut on privacy concerns with Google Glass, which the company announced a decade ago.
The analyst said Google built retina projection technology through its 2020 acquisition of smart glasses maker North, in which 2D elements float in front of the eyes. The company has also acquired other AR technology, he added.
Analysts estimate Google’s R&D spending on AR to be around $39 billion.
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Apple MR Glasses: For Apple, AR is lower in priority than auto but higher than healthcare, Munster said. However, the company will be one of the two most meaningful contributors to AR hardware, along with Google, he said.
chief executive officer Tim Cook’s AR use-case vision, the analyst said, includes education, entertainment, interactive gaming, enterprise, among others.
The analyst said that Apple will likely release its MR headset in 2023 or 2024, followed by Apple Glass in 2026.
As far as privacy is concerned, Apple has cleverly opted for a LiDAR sensor instead of a camera, the analyst said. He said this would allow for environmental awareness without an invasion of privacy.
Apple has filed more than 59 patents related to in-air gestures and a spatial 3D audio engine to enhance virtual reality gaming, among other patents, Munster said. The analyst also noted that the company has filed for patenting of a feature called “optical sub-assembly,” which would correct impaired vision, allowing AR devices to replace prescription lenses.
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Munster expects Apple’s MR headset to cost around $3,000, which makes it only fair for tech geeks and early tech adopters.
“Mainstream adoption would require less than $1,000 and more features to convince people to wear these devices in their daily lives,” he said.
The analyst said Apple could spend about $26 billion for AR R&D.
Apple closed Friday’s session up 3.19% at $147.11, according to Benzinga Pro data. Google parent Alphabet closed up 2.96% at $2,330.31.
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