July 5, 2021

AR glasses: a booming market

In 2026 , near 28 million AR / MR glasses will be in the market, reaching 175 billion of dollars, according to ABI Research analysis. Augmented reality would be a key element of the future digital landscape. This craze for augmented reality is justified: augmented reality (AR) glasses promise animmersion beneficial to many uses, in various sectors (entertainment, social, marketing, training, sales, health, work, real estate, military, sport…).

Today, their use is mostly limited to industrial sectors though. Their marketing does not target the general public, but is intended for professionals. As evidenced by the failure of Google Glass, whose production ceased in 2015, consumer expectations are higher than the technology already on the market. The major manufacturers of AR glasses are therefore positioning themselves in a specialized niche, with some high-performance devices for industry, but bulky and expensive.

We distinguish two categories of AR glasses today:

AR glasses for professionals

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AR / connected glasses for the general public

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The current challenge for AR glasses designers is to miniaturize components to make the device less heavy and bulky, while improving the performance and quality of the product, with a view to large-scale marketing. Today, AR glasses for the general public remain luxury gadgets. Nevertheless, there are rumors about the design of high-tech AR glasses for the general public that will revolutionize the market at the end of the year 2021.

Will the augmented reality market change from headsets for industrial use to fashion glasses for the general public?

… Spotlight on these rumors!

Apple Glass

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The company Apple, IT queen of marketing strategy, designs its products for mass consumption. Whenever it places a product on the market with a new technology, the latter is adopted by the general public. Regarding AR, Apple seems lagging behind Microsoft’s HoloLens already well placed on the market. However, rumors say that Apple has already been working for years on the AR glasses design. Apple would take its time to release very advanced AR glasses, at the end of the year 2021 or in 2022.

The patent of Apple True Tone would notably allow the glasses of future “Apple Glass” to change the color and opacity of the lenses, in a localized way, depending on the bright atmosphere. The Apple Glass price would align with those of the HoloLens 2, around 3000 dollars. On the other hand, the functionalities would differ: the glasses would only connect to one Iphone and would use the ARKit technology already available on iPad and iPhone.

Since mystery is an integral part of the Apple’s Marketing strategy, one cannot predict with certainty how the product will be. Rumors fuel this famous cult of secrecy, whose objective is to create a buzz at the official marketing announcement of Apple AR glasses.

HoloLens 3

After the commercial success of HoloLens, then its advanced version HoloLens 2, Microsoft would prepare HoloLens 3, according to rumors. While HoloLens 2 intended exclusively for companies, Microsoft would finally release a model available to the general public with HoloLens 3. This fact was confirmed by Alex Kipman, Head of Mixed Reality at Microsoft during a interview in May 2021: an augmented reality headset for individual consumers is indeed in conception phase. Particular attention is paid to improving immersion, comfort, as well as features already existing on HoloLens 2.

Epic Games and Niantic have joined forces with Microsoft to create an open platform for multiple devices and services, which would undoubtedly help Microsoft in the development of new features. We therefore expect a model that would perfectly integrate technologies such as Microsoft Mesh or the Holoportation. However, the successful completion of its development would take time. This is why HoloLens 3 would not see the light of day before 2023, or even 2024.

Magic leap 2

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The start-up Magic Leap led by Peggy Johnson would release a consumer version 2 by end of 2021 / beginning of 2022. The AR Magic Leap 1 headset is designed specifically for corporate clients , making this start-up a direct competitor of HoloLens 2. Thus, in the same vein as Microsoft, it is developing a smaller, lighter, more practical model, with a doubled field of vision, for private consumers. Magic Leap 2 would be a device halfway between glasses and a headset.

Snap Spectacles 4

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Since the start of its entry into the AR market, Snapchat took a unique position : to create very designer AR glasses. Unfortunately, the first version of the Snap Spectacles of 2017 did not perform well and Snapchat ended up with hundreds of thousands of unsold glasses. The marketing focus is still put on the aestheticism with the Spectacles 3. They want to be fashion, cool, fun, for a target of a young adult age group. Much lighter than large mixed reality headsets, the glasses are also more affordable to the general public, with a price of 370 euros.

Snapchat is currently releasing its latest model, Spectacles 4, available exclusively to content creators for now. The price is unknown and his autonomy of use barely reaches 30 minutes. It is difficult to predict the outcome of the launching of this model, especially with the imminent arrival of the Apple Glass on the consumer market, future jewels of the Apple empire.

Kura Gallium

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The American Start-up Kura Technologies, comprised of a team of specialist engineers, develops a revolutionary new technology in the world of augmented reality with its new glasses Kura Gallium . It would be an innovation which concerns the quality and the use AR glasses. Although little information on this has been released, rumors speak of a better AR visualization in bright environment and a 8K resolution per eye.

The starting price would be $ 1500, but would come down to $ 1000 in mass production . The ambition of the Kura company is, in fact, to mass market his product Kura Gallium. It plans to produce between 100,000 and 1 million devices to enter the market by the end of 2021. The marketing project of Kura Gallium glasses seem very promising.


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LetinAR is preparing major technological advances, which would benefit toT-Glasses. Aesthetically, T-Glasses look a lot like regular eyeglasses, but have a superior AR technology. The optical technology of these glasses was in the final of the Spie Prism Award in 2020.


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The French start-up Lynx makes a mixed reality headset (MR = AR + VR). Like the HoloLens 2 headset, Lynx is intended for companies and professionals. On the other hand, its price is $ 1,500, i.e. twice cheaper than Microsoft’s. But with an autonomy of 2 hours, the battery is less efficient than that of HL2 which can last 3 hours.


The market will take a turn : while AR technology is increasingly used by companies and professionals, it democratizes also with mobile applications for the general public (ex: Ikea).

To reach mass consumers, designers of AR devices are being forced to make models more attractive, both in terms of economic than aesthetic. To sell to the general public, companies must therefore adapt to the demand with small, efficient and design glasses. The rumors tell us that IT industry giants such as Apple and Microsoft secretly design AR glasses for the general public.