Apple Increasing Focus on Augmented Reality Eyewear, Any Launch Still Over a Year Away

Apple is "stepping up" its augmented reality eyewear efforts, with an eventual goal of releasing a consumer-facing product, according to the Financial Times.

Apple first began to build a team to examine the feasibility of a head-worn device more than a year ago. Now, it is devoting more resources to its augmented-reality efforts, with the aim of taking it from a science project towards a consumer product, according to people familiar with the company’s plans.

Don't expect to be wearing a pair of Apple-branded augmented reality glasses in the near future, however, as the report said any potential launch remains at least a year away, or "perhaps much longer."

Bloomberg was first to report that Apple is exploring digital glasses that would connect wirelessly to iPhones and "show images and other information in the wearer's field of vision." The report said the digital glasses, which may use augmented reality, would not launch until 2018 at the earliest if at all.

One person who expects a sooner launch is tech evangelist Robert Scoble, who insists that Apple is working on a pair of "mixed reality" glasses that will debut alongside the 2017 iPhone lineup, according to his sources. He also said Apple and German company Carl Zeiss are working together on augmented reality optics.

Scoble's information has yet to be corroborated by other sources, so 2018 or later remains a more likely timeline at this point.

While a standalone product appears to remain far off, most analysts agree that Apple will start incorporating AR-related features into its existing products in the near future. A future iPhone camera, for example, could be able to detect faces and apply Snapchat-like filters using augmented reality.

Apple CEO Tim Cook has shown significant interest in augmented reality over the past few years, calling the technology everything from "profound" to a "big idea like the smartphone" in recent interviews. He also believes that augmented reality is essentially more important than virtual reality.

Last year, Cook said that Apple continues to "invest a lot" in augmented reality, and the company has filed several patents related to the technology over the past decade, confirming its interest in the field. However, Apple routinely tests new products and technologies that are never publicly released.

Apple's augmented reality efforts have been preceded by the Microsoft HoloLens, a cordless, self-contained Windows 10 holographic headset that mixes virtual reality with augmented reality. Microsoft began shipping the HoloLens Development Edition in March 2016 for $3,000 in the United States and Canada.

Related Roundup: Apple Glasses

Top Rated Comments

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43 months ago
Boy, you know Apple is out of ideas when they're rummaging around in Google's trash bin for their next big product.
Score: 21 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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43 months ago
I could sure use a computer I could upgrade the graphics card or add internal drives with more than I could use augmented reality glasses.
Score: 19 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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43 months ago

Macs, please!

We love the Mac.™ Great desktops in the pipeline.™

Score: 16 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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43 months ago
Funny how so many have opinions about how this is a good thing or a bad thing, debating back and forth about why or why not... while very few actually points out the obvious... MacRumors..... Macs... where are they? Laptops and iPads, iPhones and iPods (barely)... Why are there no active debates, critical and honest talks about the lack of interest from Apple in developing desktop machines that live up to the current state of computers. It is 2017 and in 2001, we all thought Macs would be such a powerful dominant machine that we'd literally have no idea how to imagine the awesomeness they would hold. Most of you probably don't remember the wonder MacOS X was compared to MacOS 9. The transition or the birth of the iMacs... Macs... THE MACINTOSH computers... Performa Series, etc... the PowerMacs the PowerBooks... the legacy that is all but forgotten because what we have is the iPhone... that's Apple...

Maybe it's just me, but I feel Apple gets away with everything they want, because we let them. No one is actively demanding the company to focus on reviving instead of killing the pro consumer community. They killed Aperture, an App that was wonderful and was just ignored for years... Final Cut Pro Studio was dumbed down and what iMovie is now, compared to what it once was is also shameful. Nothing is what it was, and yet, the joke is, that Apple as a company is one of the richest companies in the world, they have ALL the power, resources to develop new technology instead of buying it and silencing it. They are no longer innovative, they are behind and cost far too much to justify investing in it. It's sad because it was a safe and great platform but for those of us who grew up with it, worked with it, invested in it and used it for work, now are actually forced to look elsewhere. Tim Cook's promise of a big revival of the Mac and Pro users, is a joke... in fact it's a lie. Just like all their products, it's form over substance. Apple has lost their way a long time ago... I don't think Steve Jobs would care either way where Apple is today... if he did, he wouldn't have given it to Tim Cook.

Agree or Disagree... Apple need to be reminded by those who use it, that they have a tiny assortment of products, if the iPhone fails, that's it.. nothing else will save them. They lost all their good engineers and software developers, no wonder why all their products are dumbed down and look pretty but are also pretty useless.

Don't you want to see powerful Macs rise again in the market to be able to handle 4K and 8K videos without a glitch? Don't you want the MacOS to run smoothly and not resemble the iOS and be limited? I'm just wondering those who defend Apple religiously... what do you see in this company that those who've been with them since MacOS 7 don't?

I just wonder...
[doublepost=1490628440][/doublepost]

We love the Mac.™

And you put this image perfectly into the very essence of what I was saying... Mac's are practically dead... Mac Pro the most expensive one is the oldest of them all.. the one that cannot be justified with the old tech that's in it... the cost... it's insane....
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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43 months ago
Macs, please!
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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43 months ago
Something about this line of articles reminds me of the Apple Car ones. Breathless speculation with incredibly thin information, then when it becomes clear that the project never really was something resembling the speculation, there likely will be an article about how Apple's "abandoning" a project that never really was going in earnest and how those people are being "reassigned." I suspect the car project was probably not an actual car, but a platform play, and that this will likely be more like Snapchat than anything you ever saw in Minority Report.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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