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Apple Experimenting With Several Augmented Reality Glasses Prototypes

Apple is working on "several different kinds" of wearable augmented reality prototypes as it tries to figure out the "most compelling application" for an AR headset, reports Financial Times.

Citing sources with knowledge of Apple's plans, Financial Times says at least one group within Apple is pushing for a pair of glasses that feature a 3D camera but no screens, making the iPhone the main display, similar to Snap's Spectacles, but no final design decisions have been made.

Snap's camera-equipped screen-free Spectacles

Rumors of Apple's work on AR smart glasses first surfaced in 2016, and previous rumors have suggested the glasses will connect wirelessly to the iPhone, much like the Apple Watch, and will display "images and other information to the wearer."

While Robert Scoble suggested Apple could launch the smart glasses this year through a partnership with Carl Zeiss, most rumors (like today's) suggest Apple is still in a prototyping phase and that a launch is still a ways off.

Earlier this year, Financial Times said Apple was "stepping up" development on an augmented reality wearable, but a potential launch is at least a year away or longer. Bloomberg has predicted a similar timeline, suggesting Apple is perhaps aiming to launch a product in 2018.

As Apple works on AR smart glasses, the company is preparing to make its first major move into augmented reality with the launch of iOS 11 and ARKit, a set of APIs designed to allow developers to build powerful augmented reality experiences into apps and games. When ARKit launches, the iPhone and the iPad will become the largest augmented reality platform in the world given the large number of devices already out in the wild.

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Over the course of the past several months, Apple CEO Tim Cook has talked about Apple's work on augmented reality several times. Just this past week, he called it "big and profound" and said he "could not be more excited" about AR and what developers are creating with ARKit.

"This is one of those huge things that we'll look back and marvel at the start of it," he said.

Related Roundup: Apple VR Project
Tag: ft.com


Top Rated Comments

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18 months ago
AppleWatch + AirPods + Apple Glasses are the holy trinity that will inevitably replace the iPhone with wearable tech.
Rating: 11 Votes
18 months ago
I truly think I’m with Apple on taking their time here.

Get ARKit going with developers and immersed in the ecosystem. Then tie it in with the glasswear item.

I have faith.


USVet
Rating: 10 Votes
18 months ago
You mean the lenses aren’t shaped like apples?

Rating: 5 Votes
18 months ago

AppleWatch + AirPods + Apple Glasses are the holy trinity that will inevitably replace the iPhone with wearable tech.


Hmmm I think you're onto something.
Rating: 5 Votes
18 months ago

AppleWatch + AirPods + Apple Glasses are the holy trinity that will inevitably replace the iPhone with wearable tech.

This is most likely but I believe the phone will be more like a cpu by then. Doing the heavy data crunching and storage. Watch, Airpods and Glasses will be your I/O.
Rating: 2 Votes
18 months ago
glasses that feature 3D camera but no screens, making the iPhone the main display

So whats the point then? Why are these different from normal glasses?
[doublepost=1501880015][/doublepost]You have a camera on the glasses just to see what you see on the iphone display? How is this not dumb?
Rating: 2 Votes
18 months ago
I don't know who is getting more stupid. The people or apple. I can u derstand Snapchat doing such because it gears towards teenagers. But Apple?? Which 30 yr old person would wear such glasses and walk around? Ridiculous!
Rating: 1 Votes
18 months ago

Maybe you are right, I just don't see how that way would be more useful than the current way of browsing.

I said I didn't "think" I could use ar glasses for those things, not that it was an impossibility. I still don't see how glasses or a watch would be a desirable experience over what we have now.

I see the Watch and any future wearable as secondary input methods and the iPhone still being the main work horse. Having said that, I cannot see into the future, lol.


I think you're spot on - AR is an auxiliary device for the foreseeable future, like the watch. Some people might use it as a primary, but for the vast majority it will be an add-on.
Rating: 1 Votes
18 months ago
I guarantee Angela Ahrendts has been embedded with the design and engineering teams making sure these are a fashion item.
Rating: 1 Votes
18 months ago

As others said, glasses, watch and AirPods. In that situation I could imagine using the Watch with a camera for the selfie crowd.

That's a vision of the distant future. The iPhone isn't going anywhere for a long time.

I don't think I would ever be able to use glasses or the Watch to browse the web and comment on forums. That's a big issue I see


You know that's the same excuse used to deride the possibility of a phone being as useful as a personal computer... "Oh, a phone can only do WAP, not the real web", they said. Once the iPhone made mobile popular, the web adapted itself to the mobile format. Apps leverage the internet but are built specifically for a pocketable, touch screen.

The next evolution of the internet is merging it into the real world through augumented reality. You'll see the web adjust itself to that format, including places like MacRumors or whatever succeeds it.
Rating: 1 Votes

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