Apple starts trial production of semitransparent lenses for AR glasses

The Information has learned that Apple is working with Taiwan’s Foxconn Technology, Apple’s largest contract manufacturer and the one responsible for building most iPhones, to develop semitransparent lenses for its AR glasses. According to the report, citing “a person familiar with the matter,” as of two months ago, the lenses — considered one of the most essential elements of the head-worn devices — had passed the prototype stage and entered trial production.

Apple's AR glasses - 'Apple Glass'

Wayne Ma and Yunan Zhang for The Information:

The lenses are at least one to two years away from mass production, and the same is likely true of the AR product they ultimately end up in, the person said. The product must still go through a lengthy process of ramping up production to the point where Apple can reliably manufacture millions of them.

The Information previously reported that Apple was aiming to release an AR headset in 2022, followed by a sleeker pair of AR glasses in 2023. The later release date for the glasses reflects the more significant engineering hurdles companies like Apple are facing as they seek to build AR devices that users can wear for longer stretches of time…

As of May, the lenses had entered a stage known as engineering validation test, or EVT, during which Apple typically makes thousands of units, said the person familiar with the matter. During that period, Apple has locked down the design and begins testing its suitability for mass production.

The lenses use a polarized system, similar to the technology in 3D movie glasses, which create the illusion of depth using stereoscopic images, the person said.

MacDailyNews Take: As with iPhone, Apple’s AR glasses will usher in a completely new age. Just as there is a clear line between the time “Before iPhone” and the time “After iPhone,” so too it will be with Apple’s AR glasses.

As iPhone was to Nokia and Apple Watch is to Swatch, Apple Glasses will be to Ray-Ban et al.MacDailyNews, March 8, 2019

Once Apple’s augmented reality smartglasses are released, people are going to want to wear them during every waking hour.MacDailyNews, February 26, 2019

Someday, hopefully sooner than later, we’ll look back at holding up slabs of metal and glass to access AR as unbelievably quaint. — MacDailyNews, July 28, 2017

The impact of augmented reality cannot be overstated. It will be a paradigm shift larger than the iPhone and the half-assed clones it begat. — MacDailyNews, August 4, 2017

Augmented Reality is going to change everything.MacDailyNews, July 21, 2017


  1. And while we wait they will be establishing a new market in consumer procured health care with HealthKit, Wearables and Electronic Health Record. Their disruption of the healthcare market is now and AR glasses will be a huge product for Apple in this space.

    1. If you were a decent artist you would be sending us a link to your artists impression of what such a thing looks like. Instead your art looks like you’re a leader of the AntifaBLM movement, what with your denigration of family values and your weird art that is an insult to actual artists.

      1. The silly can’t can’t even type properly. Of course I can’t use actual cuss words, so y’all know what the first can’t stands for.

        Applecynic really is just a silly can’t who expresses his rage and jealousy here at MDN.

        It’s getting a bit old, can’t. Douche yourself, you need it. Getting a bit smelly there mate.

        1. Silly thing this iPad autocorrect. Even that tries to control what I type.

          There is no jealousy, but BS does make me rage with aplomb.
          So take it easy Massengil, I’m not bothering your sister.

    1. Credible reporting from people who have seen prototypes say Apple Glasses won’t have cameras. It will use LiDAR and give you a heads up display in the glasses to deliver useful AR and solve the glasshole problem. Elegant solution as always from Apple. Done and done.

  2. Polarized lenses are used for viewing 3D movies. They block part of the image, so each eye sees a different part. Polarization would not be necessary to create/project stereoscopic images in the lenses. Their only use would be to selectively view/hide things in the real world, and only if those things emit appropriately-polarized light.

    1. Well said mate. Would it be that applecynic were as intelligent as you. Instead his intelligence is merely “semitransparent”.

      applecynic is like the guy who is addicted to brake fluid, who exclaims he isn’t worried because he can “stop anytime he likes”.

      Sad but true

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