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Oh, and don’t forget AR contact lenses sometime after 2030. By which time nobody will remember the prediction or the predictor enough to check whether it was right. In fairness, Ming-Chi Kuo, an analyst at TF International Securities, is one of the Cupertino-focused crystal-ball gazers who has earned respect with accurate predictions about what Apple is doing next.

His latest report focuses on the next nine years for the company’s virtual and augmented reality ambitions. He reckons that Apple’s long-talked-about mixed-reality (AR/VR) headset may be released in 2022 “if Apple can successfully solve the significant technical problems” around making it light but still powerful. He thinks that a set of AR glasses will follow by 2025 (“at the earliest” – you don’t get to be a top analyst without knowing how to give yourself futureproofing wiggle room) – before progressing onto full AR contact lenses after 2030. “Invisible computing” albeit with “no visibility for the launch schedule”.

The timeline may change, as may Apple’s plans, but this is still a useful roadmap for how AR hardware is expected to develop more generally: headsets, then another bash at glasses, and ultimately computers that you stick in your eyes. Although – here’s our bold prediction – that’s 99.5% certain not to be how the marketers will brand them.

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