AR Glasses, prediction of the hype and product cycle

Apple promo image from WWDC 23

I started a thread on Mastodon with a few of these easy predictions of what's landing in just over a day's time. I thought I'd collect them here.

The usual gripes

A majority of people will likely dislike+disparage whatever is announced in a few days.

It will be too expensive for the majority of people.

By version 3, they’ll have a consumer version at a more reasonable price, and it will start to be more popular in some circumstances (eg virtual screens for working on, infinite canvas scenarios)

Competitors will make snarky commercials despite having inferior products or approaches

Integrated eco-system (walled garden) wins out

It will likely be a much better experience if you are all in on other Apple hardware.

I think it’s essentially going to be a cross between AirPods and the Apple Watch in terms of how it lands in the market.

Developer angle

Devs who support home screen widgets, the Apple Watch, and SwiftUI will likely have a head start in building experiences for it.

Most developers will use a LiDAR equipped iOS device to test AR experiences with.

The first iteration of APIs will have rough edges and things devs find clunky.

Plugged in or on the move

If (when) it is able to work untethered, then we will see location based experiences take off. These will suck for one reason or another initially and likely won’t really be great until version 3 or so.

Connecting people

One of the “killer apps” will be AR calls with people where the layer enables people to feel more presence from those they talk to. This will likely be Memoji based and suck to begin with.  It will probably move to a more realistic avatar, later on, with a scan of your face and AI models coming together to offer a virtual version of you for talking with.

In a few years time, if it has any success, expect a keynote to have a beautifully schmaltzy section where a Grandma talks about it being a beautiful way to call her grandchildren who live far away.

Obnoxious minimalists

Expect breathless digital nomad posts and videos about how it means they just need to bring a keyboard, and the headset with them as they travel.

Lots of real “thought leadership” about how a keyboard is important as it has tactile feedback as if this is a brand new discovery.

Corporate status symbols

Expect the c-suite to justify them for virtual meetings, at the same time as they mandate the plebs back to the office.

Expect lots of anguish from IT admins in big corps about them lacking MDM capabilities at this stage, and being a pain to secure and manage within their corporate infrastructure.

Some businesses will start to equip staff with them for specific use cases where it’s useful to have information whilst interacting with people. This will be a marker of the business being upmarket to begin with (like hair salons with iMacs at the till).

Privacy story

Expect Apple to couch all the potentially creepy sides of them in a user privacy message. Despite that probably being flawed and untrue for a lot of cases.


Expect consumer orientated ones to have a fashion angle eventually. Different colours etc.