Hello! I see there are lots of folks sharing experiences on a number of ways to facilitate the use of Apple devices. However, I have not found any suggestions on AR glasses while it might be the most handy option.
As far as I know, Apple schedules the release of its official AR glasses for the middle of the spring 2021. I know nothing on the price, but I can imagine the device will cost a fortune.
Please share your experience in using VR / AR (yeah, I know these are two too different things), especially on cheaper options. What do you expect from the Apple AR glasses to be released?
Fantasy versus reality
While I don't yet know much about the AR Glasses, I expect they will be much like other wearables out there; open design which allows you to see the world around you and look your eyes up to see a display in the corner or the top of the lenses. What I would love, since they will cost us a premium is the following:
Allow for the glasses to be a mix of reality - seeing the world as it is through the lenses like you would any glasses - and augmentation - seeing the interface of your iPhone, accessing the camera and for me above all, allowing me to use some of the many magnification apps right on the glasses. It would be cool to be able to set the level of opacity of the glasses, so if you make them completely opaque you can focus on the display, semy opaque - probably the default - to do both, and transparency mode to see everything without any "HUD". Allow us to use a slider to change the intensity of the opacity. That's what I want. I've longed to try a wearable seeing assistant, but I haven't had the opportunity to try one aside from the old version of Esight which did not work for my eye condition.
Since the display portion is…
Since the display portion is going to be useless for many of us, I want lots of features that use its other sensors. Last I heard, the rumors say that they won't have a camera, which is a real shame, but to be fair they're taking lessons from Google Glass. I'd like to see them used to enhance navigation apps like Microsoft Soundscape. Actually, I could see these being a huge boon for mapping out pedestrian routes. Apple supplies the hardware. Then Google or whoever can drown it in algorithms to map out footpaths and stuff. Imagine having data on how easy it would be to traverse a certain route? Imagine the glasses being able to point out objects and obstacles around you that your cane might otherwise miss (like overgrown trees left uncut by lazy neighbors). Perhaps that one dude bro who leaves his pickup hanging out of his driveway like a loose pair of pants. Perhaps a warning if you're approaching a pile of those infernal rentable scooters and bikes. Alright, I'll cut that out now. My frustrations with sighted city dwellers is endless, but you get the idea. Collision avoidance and footpath mapping. All that said, Apple Glasses are still just a rumor. I'll believe it when it's more than just one annoying YouTuber making ascension jokes.
Oh yeah, if they could warn me about stuff like bollards and road signs before I slam into them because my cane can't fine them in time, that'd be super great.
The handy alternative
For me as a blind person, Apple Glasses will only be of added value if they are equipped with a camera and headsets, so as to enable camera use in a safe way (e.g.: when navigating the street) instead of having to hold up the phone to get the benefit of camera detection like in Seeing AI. A LIDAR sensor could definitely warn me from obstacles that are not necessarily in reach of the white cane... I know that's a lot to wish for, but maybe we just have to wait for a second generation, since I think Apple would probably release new iterations of the device each year like iPhone, iPad and Apple Watch.
Just to dream a bit bigger, but that could be the case for 2025 (Glass OS 5) or so...: A "touch track" feature that would allow me to calibrate the device to detect one of my hands in front of the camera and than the hand being tracked as I have to find the right item on semi-visual interfaces like ticketing machines, entrance door appliances, etc. like a remote screenreader... After all, iOS 8 brought Braille screen input so why not think of such a feature on an Apple Glass. That would be a real game changer!
Dream big indeed!
Thank you guys for all your replies, you are amazing.
Apple, make it clear what is your AR for us
To clarify my point, there are two things that draw my attention.
First, Apple has a patented technology titled "Augmented Reality Device to Warp Images". It is registered with the US Patent and is meant to facilitate augmented reality, especially for people in a partially blind condition.
Second, Apple is to release their glasses in the upcoming years, but there is no clear sign of what these glasses gonna do, will they, for instance, be able to describe in writing / talk to a user on what is going on around or otherwise communicate with a human brain. If they are to have an OS (Glass OS), would it be protected from malware /DDoS attack, for I can imagine the consequences if that is the only guide for a legally blind person, and it gets hacked? They have to be super-alert of the possible vulnerabilities.
So I guess we have to urge Apple that while for most people AR glasses is an interesting thing to try, for the people with impaired sight this device is essential, a ray of hope.