It’s been rumored for years that Apple wants to release augmented reality glasses of some kind, though nothing concrete has ever been announced. However, those expectations increased with Apple’s introduction of ARKit with iOS 11 in 2017.

The company has been pushing augmented reality ever since, though it has always remained securely on-device. It’s used to realistically display virtual objects in a real-world space through the device camera – the most famous examples include the furniture-placing functions of IKEA Place and the critter-hunting seen in Pokémon GO.

However, analyst Ming-Chi Kuo (the man with the best track record in the business) believes Apple is close to finishing their plans for some kind of headset to improve the experience. He expects it to go into production before the end of this year and hit the shelves in the second quarter of 2020.

Apple has had patents for AR glasses for years

It remains to be seen whether Apple will opt for a large unit similar to virtual reality gaming headset or a smaller set of spectacles in the vein of the failed Google Glass experiment. Either way, though, it is said to connect up to an iPhone in much the same way as the Apple Watch, and draw all its processing power and smarts from the main device.

Essentially, an AR headset would make apps and games that use the technology much more immersive, providing an overlay that covers your entire vision instead of one that is limited to the display of your iPhone or iPad. Exciting stuff, no?