Apple is working on several new products, and the latest one is a wearable device similar to Google Glass, reports Bloomberg. The media outlet adds that the company is still exploring the smart glasses market. Hence, it cannot be said with surety when it will materialize into a finished product.
No confirmed details yet
The earliest Apple can reveal the product is 2018, according to Bloomberg. However, there are still chances that it will take much longer for the project to be completed, or it might completely change its direction like it did with its automotive ambitions. There have long been rumors of Apple working on a secret consumer product for which it has been collecting AR talent.
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Apple CEO Tim Cook has been questioned several times about AR, and every time, he said there is a lot of potential in the technology compared to its virtual reality counterpart, thus hinting at Apple’s plans to enter the space, notes The Verge.
In the July conference call with analysts, Cook said, “AR can be really great, and we have been and continue to invest a lot in this. We are high on AR for the long run. We think there are great things for customers and a great commercial opportunity.”
Then in October, Cook suggested that the company has minimal chances of leveraging VR in a mass-consumer product.
Apple already in talks with suppliers
Apple was continuously hiring experts in both promising fields — AR and VR — as of September. This serves as another hint at the fact that it is probably developing products in both categories. Apple has already secured patents for things like street view in mapping apps, and for smart glasses that use full-fledged virtual reality.
Bloomberg said that to secure components such as near-eye displays, the iPhone maker has already spoken to some potential suppliers. Over the last three years, Apple has made some major startup acquisitions such as Primesense, which had AR at its focus; Metaio, which focuses on 3D mapping; and Flyby, which specializes in computer vision.
It appears that Apple aims to develop a pair of glasses that will be capable of wirelessly connecting with an iPhone and overlaying information on the wearer’s field of vision. As of now, the challenge lying ahead of Apple is to fit all the technology into a useful pair of internet-connected glasses that are small and sleek enough for regular people to wear.