Main image of article How Apple AR Glasses Plans Could Impact Tech Jobs

Apple has reportedly put its augmented reality (AR) glasses project on indefinite hold.

According to Bloomberg, which cited the ever-popular anonymous sources, the issue is unspecified “technical challenges.” Apple is still working hard on a “mixed reality” headset that will supposedly combine virtual reality (VR) and AR experiences; a premium version of the device is widely expected to debut this year, followed by a cheaper version by 2024 or 2025.

As Gizmodo points out in its reporting on the Bloomberg article, this year’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES) featured many vendors showing off their early work with AR glasses. “We’ve found that multiple prototype glasses products, some using OLED and others using Waveform display technology, were already relatively lightweight and innocuous,” the publication mused. “At first glance, it was hard to tell that these glasses were AR-capable.”

But Apple might have different goals for its AR glasses than some of these smaller manufacturers and startups. For example, the company might want day-long battery life or processor-intensive features that could strain the capabilities of current hardware, especially if that hardware needs to fit into a pair of eyeglasses. (Your humble correspondent remembers how vendors flooded CES 2010 with a variety of prototype tablets ahead of the Apple iPad’s debut; the iPad is still with us, while all those other products quickly ended up in the proverbial dustbin of dead tech.)

Meta (formerly Facebook) is also reportedly racing to bring AR glasses to market. According to The Verge, the device could hit the market by 2024, but there are no guarantees, despite the company spending tens of billions of dollars to grow its “metaverse” of AR and VR apps and hardware. Presumably, Meta’s tech professionals are facing the same thorny issues as Apple when it comes to creating platforms that consumers and businesses love.

If these companies are having trouble with AR, it could impact the growth of jobs in the space, especially for developers who want to build AR-capable apps. That being said, it’s pretty clear that some of the biggest names in tech are betting that AR is the future—if you’re a software or mobile-app developer, it can’t hurt to familiarize yourself with tools like Apple’s RealityKit and ARKit.