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Apple's Interest in Augmented Reality Technology Continues at CES 2019

AppleInsider reports that Apple engineers and key personnel were continuing to show interest in AR (Augmented Reality) technology companies at this year's Consumer Electronics Show.
More than half a dozen incognito Apple representatives, including employees of known subsidiaries, visited AR waveguide suppliers like DigiLens, Lumus, Vuzix and WaveOptics at CES 2019, according to a person with knowledge of the meetings.
Apple has been known to be interested in AR / VR technology for years with reports of hundreds of employees working on the technology. Tim Cook notably said in 2017 that the technology to do AR glasses in a "quality way" didn't yet exist, indicating that they would wait until Apple could deliver the best experience.


Rumors of an Apple AR Headset reignited when a report in April of 2018 suggested that a headset was actively being developed with a launch target of 2020. Since that rumor, it was revealed that Apple had also purchased Akonia Holographics, a startup that makes lenses for augmented reality glasses.

Related Roundup: Apple Glasses


Top Rated Comments

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16 weeks ago
Apple stopped caring about “quality experiences” when Steve Jobs died
Rating: 13 Votes
16 weeks ago
Apple is too late to that party. And even if they weren't, refusing to sell proper hardware for this job will make this a continued impossibility.
Rating: 10 Votes
16 weeks ago

Apple is too late to that party. And even if they weren't, refusing to sell proper hardware for this job will make this a continued impossibility.

Not at all. This is exactly what Apple does so successfully: spend 5+ years doing intense R&D and developing a winning product that they release when it’s ready.
Rating: 8 Votes
16 weeks ago

Not at all. This is exactly what Apple does so successfully: spend 5+ years doing intense R&D and developing a winning product that they release when it’s ready.


Oh, you mean like they did with the last Mac Pro? I read they put a lot of R&D into that. ;)

Honestly though, there was a time when I felt the same way as you. But I’m starting to realize that this new Apple is different than the one I used to know.

For example, look at the Apple TV and its wasted potential as a gaming platform. I was really hoping it would take off, but Apple gimped the launch by forcing that awful remote as the controller input. Somehow, all of their R&D and focus testing didn’t save them from that mistake. In addition to the bad user experience, it was really off-putting to the developer community. Apple eventually ended up rolling back the requirement, but the damage was already done.
Rating: 5 Votes
16 weeks ago
Apple sells garbage hardware. Until that changes, nothing in AR or VR will ever be feasible on a Mac.
Rating: 5 Votes
16 weeks ago

VR was kind of a flop as predicted. AR on the other hand might be interesting if it’s non intrusive. Unfortunately, other than having lens implanted in your retina, who would want to wear lens/glasses if they didn’t have to?

Well some people that were not wearing watches started just to have the tech, I can see a lot of people wearing glasses / lenses just for the tech in it.

Also with the new trend of blocking blue light, a lot of people with no need for glasses started to put them on with no presciption but with just the filter.

You'd be amazed what a youngster can put up with just to have the "new toy in town".


VR. is doing fine in gaming, where it belongs, people are just waiting for better resolution, and better HW to cope with it ;).

Apple stopped caring about “quality experiences” when Steve Jobs died

Sad, but really true.
Rating: 5 Votes
16 weeks ago
I am in agreement with those that say Apple hardware isn't up to it. I mean is it willful ignorance to brag about how important GPU processing is and yet fail to put the best GPU available in your systems?

Apple needs to step back and stop forcing what "THEY" want on to users, and instead deliver what the users are asking for. Apple is hastily making themselves irrelevant in the content creation spaces; deprecating things like OpenGL and OpenCL is going to bite them in the ass. The way I figure it, if Metal matures to the point that it handily beats OpenGL and OpenCL, then developers will switch over if they want to stay relevant in the market place; forcing the issue is not the way to do it.

Apple used to be all about open standards. Apple is delusional about their market share when it comes to computing; Microsoft got away with it (closed APIs) because they dominated the market place.
Rating: 4 Votes
16 weeks ago
VR was kind of a flop as predicted. AR on the other hand might be interesting if it’s non intrusive. Unfortunately, other than having lens implanted in your retina, who would want to wear lens/glasses if they didn’t have to?
Rating: 4 Votes
16 weeks ago

Apple is too late to that party. And even if they weren't, refusing to sell proper hardware for this job will make this a continued impossibility.

Too late? For what? There is not a single mainstream AR product out there. We have only seen apps and few gadgets as HUDs and Google Glass that take advtanage in some way or form from AR. Other than that, it is pretty much unexplored market. Apple is obviously looking for the breakthrough technology that will convert AR in something actually useful and meaningful, rather be only a gimmick to show some cool tricks.
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AR was a novelty that died ~2012. Guess Tim Cook wants to revive it and be known as the father of AR like Al Gore is the father of the internet.

For VR to take off it needs to be much less bulky so not much more than sun glasses and more affordable.


I think Google Glass-like product could be what they are actually cooking in their labs. If they are able to overcome all cons, it could be a bad-ass product. I wear glasses all day everyday and having an Apple Watch functionality in the frame of my glasses could be super cool. VR is cool for some casual gaming and mastubating with VR porn.
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VR was kind of a flop as predicted. AR on the other hand might be interesting if it’s non intrusive. Unfortunately, other than having lens implanted in your retina, who would want to wear lens/glasses if they didn’t have to?

In the summer, almost everyone wear glasses. In some regions as California where Apple is headquarterd wearing some kind of eyes protection is mandatory for almost 9 months of the year. And then there are the people with prescription glasses. So there is a huge market of people already wearing glasses most of the time. In any case, Apple should implement some very cool technologies in its AR headset in order to make someone who is not usually wearing glasses to wear these.
Rating: 3 Votes
16 weeks ago
Where are ALL the cool AR apps Cook promised ???

Someone @ AAPL forget to tell Cook that AR apps need LOTS of DRAM to run effectively !

Oops !
Rating: 3 Votes

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