Apple Reportedly Looked at Acquiring Augmented Reality Display Maker Plessey

Apple recently considered acquiring British company Plessey Semiconductors, a maker of Micro-LED displays for augmented reality devices, according to The Information.

plessey glasses
The paywalled report claims that Plessey has instead reached a licensing deal with Facebook, which in a statement said it wants to build "a glasses form factor that lets devices melt away so we can be more present with our friends, families, and surroundings":

Facebook has struck a deal to buy all of the augmented reality displays made by British firm Plessey, as the social network looks to build AR glasses capable of overlaying virtual objects onto the real world. The deal could give Facebook an edge over Apple, which recently looked at buying Plessey, one of the few makers of AR displays, according to two people familiar with the matter.

Apple has expressed a profound interest in augmented reality in recent years, making a major push into the space with frameworks like ARKit and RealityKit, creative tools like Reality Composer and Reality Converter, and hardware like the LiDAR Scanner on the new iPad Pro and likely some iPhone 12 models.

Multiple reports have indicated that Apple plans to release a combination AR/VR headset by 2021 or 2022, followed by a sleeker pair of AR glasses in 2022 or 2023. Last week, MacRumors obtained a photo of a generic HTC Vive Focus-like controller that Apple appears to be using to test its AR/VR headset.

Related Roundup: Apple Glasses

Top Rated Comments

rotax Avatar
19 months ago
I dont care who's Tech and how good. I would never ever use a VR/AR anything from a privacy loving Facebook.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Baymowe335 Avatar
19 months ago

Just my opinion, just not sold on AR other than it being a momentary wow factor. Who knows, maybe I'm just crazy.
You are going to be 100% wrong if you can’t see the future of AR.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
CarlJ Avatar
19 months ago

well you remember that small company called,google and their glassholes?
Public sentiment was against those new-fangled horseless carriages when they first appeared on the scene. Over time, the technology improved, and public sentiment swung strongly in favor of cars. Times change.

Your argument sounds a awful lot like, "don't you remember them terrible horseless carriages?"


There is no future in AR. The people that believe in it are 100% wrong.

The reason is that it's not useful for the average person and has terrible UX.
there's no future for it because it has terrible UX? You don't expect that will be improving? I mean, phones today are exactly like they were in 2005, right? No changes there, so why expect AR will improve.


vr goggles look silly
VR is quite different from AR - different (though related) tech pursuing different goals. VR is trying to project an entirely new world in front of your eyes. AR is trying to overlay a bit of useful information on your current view of the real world.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
djcerla Avatar
19 months ago

Just my opinion, just not sold on AR other than it being a momentary wow factor. Who knows, maybe I'm just crazy.
I have the feeling this will go with the “less songs than a Nomad, lame” quote in the not-going-to-age-well drawer...
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
NinjaHERO Avatar
19 months ago
I think AR is going to be huge. An overlay of your surroundings is absolutely the next step in our screen interaction. We need a design like the one shown. Where you can't see the screen, it's just built into the glasses/lenses. That will be huge. Gotta make these look good if you want people on board.
I can't wait.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ipedro Avatar
19 months ago

Just my opinion, just not sold on AR other than it being a momentary wow factor. Who knows, maybe I'm just crazy.
You're going to be in the "Why is Apple making a music player? This iPod thing is doomed" camp.

There are visionaries who see how society can evolve through technology that hasn't become common yet and there are those that eventually catch up and adopt it. At this point, you don't have to be much of a visionary to see the future applications of AR and how it can totally transform society.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

iphone 12 colors 2021

iPhone 12 Colors: Deciding on The Right Color

Thursday November 5, 2020 8:35 am PST by
The iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro arrived last October in a range of color options, with entirely new hues available on both devices, as well as some popular classics. The 12 and 12 Pro have different color choices, so if you have your heart set on a particular shade, you might not be able to get your preferred model in that color. iPhone 12 mini and iPhone 12 The iPhone 12 mini and iPhone 12...
iPhone 13 Dummy Thumbnail 2

Full iPhone 13 Feature Breakdown: Everything Rumors Say We Can Expect

Tuesday August 31, 2021 7:50 am PDT by
With the launch of Apple's iPhone 13 lineup believed to be just a few weeks away, we have compiled all of the coherent rumors from our coverage over the past year to build a full picture of the features and upgrades coming to the company's new smartphones. For clarity, only explicit improvements, upgrades, and new features compared to the iPhone 12 lineup are listed. It is worth noting that...
original iphone

Phil Schiller Says iPhone Was 'Earth-Shattering' Ten Years Ago and Remains 'Unmatched' Today

Monday January 9, 2017 7:15 am PST by
To commemorate the tenth anniversary of the iPhone, Apple marketing chief Phil Schiller sat down with tech journalist Steven Levy for a wide-ranging interview about the smartphone's past, present, and future. The report first reflects upon the iPhone's lack of support for third-party apps in its first year. The argument inside Apple was split between whether the iPhone should be a closed...
macbook air deals

Deals: Amazon Drops Price of 256GB M1 MacBook Air to New Low of $849.99 ($149 Off)

Friday August 27, 2021 6:16 am PDT by
Amazon today introduced new low prices on the M1 MacBook Air for both 256GB and 512GB storage options. To start, you can get the 256GB model for $849.99, down from an original price of $999.00. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with Amazon. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep the site running. Only Silver and Gold are...
iCloud General Feature

iCloud+'s New Custom Email Domain Feature Now Available in Beta

Wednesday August 25, 2021 7:48 am PDT by
Starting with iOS 15, iPadOS 15, and macOS Monterey, users with a paid iCloud+ storage plan can personalize their iCloud email address with a custom domain name, such as johnny@appleseed.com, and the feature is now available in beta. iCloud+ subscribers interested in setting up a custom email domain can visit the beta.icloud.com website, select "Account Settings" under their name, and select ...
iPhone 13 Dummy Thumbnail 2

Kuo: iPhone 13 to Feature LEO Satellite Communications to Make Calls and Texts Without Cellular Coverage

Sunday August 29, 2021 7:39 am PDT by
The iPhone 13 will feature low earth orbit (LEO) satellite communication connectivity to allow users to make calls and send messages in areas without 4G or 5G coverage, according to the reliable analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. In a note to investors, seen by MacRumors, Kuo explained that the iPhone 13 lineup will feature hardware that is able to connect to LEO satellites. If enabled with the relevant...
maxresdefault

New MacBook Pro Models Coming at WWDC, Suggests Leaker

Monday May 24, 2021 1:27 pm PDT by
New MacBook Pro models are coming at WWDC, according to leaker Jon Prosser who has a mixed track record when it comes to predicting Apple's plans. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. Prosser provided no additional information, but there are new 14 and 16-inch MacBook Pro models in the works. The new MacBook Pros will feature the most radical redesign to the MacBook Pro ...
omg lightning cable comparison

Security Researcher Develops Lightning Cable With Hidden Chip to Steal Passwords

Thursday September 2, 2021 6:59 am PDT by
A normal-looking Lightning cable that can used to steal data like passwords and send it to a hacker has been developed, Vice reports. The "OMG Cable" compared to Apple's Lightning to USB cable. The "OMG Cable" works exactly like a normal Lightning to USB cable and can log keystrokes from connected Mac keyboards, iPads, and iPhones, and then send this data to a bad actor who could be over a...
ted lasso notchless phone

No, That Notchless iPhone Spotted in 'Ted Lasso' Isn't the iPhone 13

Tuesday August 31, 2021 2:15 am PDT by
Recent sightings of a notchless iPhone in highly popular Apple TV+ comedy "Ted Lasso" have led to sensational headlines suggesting this is a canny bit of product placement on Apple's part and that the iPhone 13 will be notchless. In actuality – and this could go without saying – the phone in question is very likely just showing a poorly superimposed display added in post-production. Notchless ...
calculatorapp

iOS 11 Bug: Typing 1+2+3 Quickly in the Calculator App Won't Get You 6

Tuesday October 24, 2017 2:03 pm PDT by
A bug in the built-in Calculator app in iOS 11 is getting some major attention this week, despite the fact that it's been around since iOS 11 was in beta testing. At issue is a calculator animation that causes some symbols to be ignored when calculations are entered in rapid succession. You can try it for yourself: Type 1+2+3 and then the equals sign into the Calculator app quickly. Due to...