Augmented Reality Apple Contact Lenses Are Coming
Reliable Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has set out an unusually ambitious prediction for an Apple product set to be released in the 2030s: augmented reality contact lenses.
In a recent research note seen by MacRumors, Kuo explained that Apple will release augmented reality contact lenses at some point in the 2030s. The lenses are said to bring electronics from the era of "visible computing" to "invisible computing."
Kuo said that the contact lenses are "unlikely to have independent computing power and storage," due to their size and extreme thinness. This suggests that the contact lenses could rely on a connection to an iPhone or other device, but Kuo did not offer any further details.
Apple contact lenses could provide a lightweight augmented reality experience without the need to wear glasses or a headset. In simple terms, augmented reality overlays digital information over a real-world view; for example, a person walking in an outdoor shopping plaza could easily view each store's hours of operation.
While rumors speculating this far ahead are difficult to take seriously and Apple's plans could change considerably over time, Kuo has a strong track record for accurately predicting what Apple is working on behind the scenes. Nevertheless, Kuo notes that there is "no visibility" for this product currently, so it is still well in the distance.
Kuo's claim comes amid a torrent of rumors surrounding Apple's work on a mixed reality headset and AR glasses. In the more immediate future, Kuo said that Apple plans to release its long-rumored mixed reality headset "in mid-2022," followed by augmented reality glasses by 2025.
For more on Apple's plans for augmented reality and mixed reality, see our comprehensive roundup.