Jony Ive would have disagreed with the project; gadget could be launched in 2023

Logo comercial fictĂ­cia do Apple Glass

It is unquestionable that the amount of rumors and information leaked about some of the possible (and future) technologies of Apple have been increasing over time. On the one hand, we have increasingly ambitious projects on the part of the Cupertino giant; on the other hand, there are people increasingly determined to investigate these “secrets” diligently (and in this leakers, analysts, journalists, etc.).

That said, for years it has been speculated on the «Apple Glass», wearable augmented reality gadget. As we can imagine, the development of such a device requires time, research and (many) tests; nevertheless, we would probably have seen some more concrete information about such a product had it not been for some mismatches in Apple’s corridors, according to a new report by Bloomberg.

The problems

While still working at Apple, the company’s former design chief, Jony Ive, opposed the plans of the executive who leads the group dedicated to developing Apple’s AR / VR technologies, Mike Rockwell.

Specifically, Ive would have disagreed about how the project was going to be a pair of glasses (code-named N301) and a hub (something like the gadget’s CPU) separate from each other. According to the information, this hub would allow “greater performance and graphical fidelity”.

Ive was frustrated at the prospect of selling one headset that would require a separate stationary device to achieve full functionality. He encouraged Rockwell and his team to develop the N301 again around the least powerful technology that could be incorporated entirely into the device. Rockwell stepped back, arguing that a wireless hub would allow performance so superior that it would outperform anything else on the market. The impasse lasted for months.

According to information, the CEO of Apple, Tim Cook, sided with Ive. As a result, the project ended up branching out to a headset (codename N301) and the “Apple Glass” (codename N421) itself – that is, two different products.

Although the headset currently under development is less ambitious than originally intended, it is quite advanced. It was designed to display ultra-resolution screens that will make it almost impossible for a user to differentiate the virtual from the real world. A cinematic speaker system will make the experience even more realistic, according to people who used prototypes.

In addition to internal problems, it seems that the development of these devices was recently paused as Apple would have set up a “task force” to deploy its own chips, based on the ARM architecture, on Macs – something that could be announced next week during WWDC20 .

N301 and N421

The prototypes of the N301 allegedly look like the Oculus Quest (headset of virtual reality on Facebook), however smaller and with a mainly fabric finish. Apple’s engineering teams are still testing the device in different head shapes to find the ideal fit, and the company has not yet decided on pricing.

According to the Bloomberg, Apple wants the headset have your own App Store, with a focus on games and the ability to transmit video content, in addition to serving as a kind of “high-tech communication device for virtual meetings”. Furthermore, the plans would be that this gadget would be used with a type of controller, as seen in the iOS 14 code.

The prototype of the N421, the «Apple Glass», on the other hand, is similar, according to the information, with «expensive sunglasses with thick frames» that house the battery and the chip. Apparently, the design of the prototypes was approved by Ive while he was still at Apple. Also according to rumors, the Apple Glass would be controlled through the Crab, which means that the gadget will possibly have a built-in microphone and speakers.


THE Bloomberg points out that the device code-named N301 could be announced in 2021, while the ambitious “Apple Glass” (N421) initiative may take longer to complete, citing 2023 as a possible release date “as early as possible”.

Time will tell.