Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg dismissed the HUD and remote processing technology of "Apple Glass," claiming it is like having an Apple Watch on your face.
Rumors indicate that Apple will adopt a HUD and remote processing technology system for its first-generation head-mounted wearable display. Apple watchers also suggest that a prototype of the headset, which has been called "Apple Glass" by leakers, features a HUD-type interface that others consider as the company's intermediate move toward immersive environments. The stories seem to hold water as there were reports in late 2019 claiming that the Cupertino-based company plans to unveil an Augmented Reality (AR) headset sometime in 2022 and handy smart glasses in 2023.
Talks about the "Apple Glass" and its HUD technology, however, failed to impress Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg as he dismissed the concept as inadequate for AR applications. In an interview with The Verge, the Facebook CEO explained that the shift from VR products like the Oculus series to handy AR setups is a problem that hardware manufacturers would find difficult to solve.
Zuckerberg explained that the AR experience is only "good" when a pair of "regular-looking glasses" can project holograms onto a real-world scene. Dismissing the rumored "Apple Glass" and its HUD technology, he said that such level of sophistication requires substantial computing power, which far exceeds the capability of present-day hardware. "I don't think we're anywhere near getting all the electronics that you would need to get into a thin frame," the Facebook CEO said, adding that the aspiration of some is to get all the required electronics into a more normal-looking glass in the first half of the decade.
The interview with Zuckerberg where he seemingly scoffed the idea of the "Apple Glass" and its HUD technology happened on Wednesday during the launch of the Facebook-developed Oculus Quest 2, the social media company's next-generation untethered VR headset. "The biggest shortcut that a lot of folks are trying to take is basically trying to not do full holograms in the world, and just show some heads-up information. I call that putting an Apple Watch on your face," said Zuckerberg. He also said that he does not find the idea compelling and is not a product that his company is excited about making. The Facebook CEO revealed that the idea does not fit the type of social use cases he and his company primarily care about.
According to technology watchers, whether or not Apple intends to rely on a HUD technology for their rumored "Apple Glass" is not clear at this time. Ming-Chi Kuo, an industry analyst, predicted in the past that Apple will unveil a headset that unloads processing and other tasks to the iPhone, which would leave the glass unit as an unassuming display. In May of this year, leaker Jon Prosser added weight to the predictions of Kuo when he claimed that "Apple Glass" will have a LiDAR module and will support physical, as well as in-air gestures.