The Vision Pro headset is now finally official after it was announced in June 2023, but it's only the start. The mixed reality headset is sure to be an impressive, if expensive, bit of kit. But Apple is thought to be working on something a little less obtrusive. And it might now have gotten a little closer.
Apple is said to be working on AR glasses, dubbed Apple Glass for obvious reasons, that will allow people to wear something more akin to normal glasses but with an AR component. However, to make that kind of product work a strong connection to something like an iPhone is likely to be needed — and a cable just won't cut it.
Now, the FCC has taken steps to allow technology companies to use a new wireless band that could make products like Apple Glass more likely, allowing them to connect to other devices at a higher bandwidth than is currently possible.
6GHz to the rescue
Writing in an FCC meeting agenda published on its website, Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel outlined what will be discussed at the October 2023 meeting. One of the points will be a discussion about "unleashing wireless innovation."
"In 2020, the Commission took a major step toward meeting the growing demand for next-generation Wi-Fi when it opened up 1,200 gigahertz of spectrum in the 6 GHz band for expanded unlicensed use," Rosenworcel explained. "To enable new applications and services using these airwaves, the Commission will consider a proposal to allow Very Low Power devices to operate in two portions of the 6 GHz band. Permitting this added flexibility in the 6 GHz band could empower enhanced learning opportunities, advance healthcare opportunities, and bring new entertainment experiences."
Those new experiences are likely to include headsets and AR glasses from Apple and other companies.
We're still likely to be a few years away from Apple Glass launching, and the Vision Pro won't arrive until early 2024. After that, Apple will likely need to concentrate on making that headset available for less than the $3,500 price of entry we'll see next year before it can turn its attention to making AR glasses we can all wear on our faces.
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Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too.
Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.