Apple is once again planning to foray into a field that many have veered away from. After a stalled self-driving vehicle project that ended up laying off a number of employees, it seems Apple has turned its attention to AR-enabled glasses a la the Google Glass.
The news comes via Bloomberg after the publication spoke to some unidentified sources close to the project. However, some of the beans that they have spilled are that the new AR-glasses from Apple will be capable of wirelessly connecting to the user’s iPhone and overlay information right in front of the wearer’s eyes. The product’s potential is still being explored, and it is being speculated that the device will be launched by 2018 if all goes well.
While Apple executives are yet to confirm the existence of the Augmented Reality Eyewear project, several sources claim that the company has indeed been ordering relevant bits of technology from several suppliers, which confirms the fact that they are at least testing the idea before setting sail. At the same time, it should be noted that Apple has done the same with many other projects in the past before scrapping them completely. In the rare case where they have not cancelled, Apple has decided to change their vision and hinder the project indefinitely like they did with their self-driving automobile.
Apple’s venture into AR-enabled eyewear comes at a time where the rest of the world is intently focused on Virtual Reality. While the direction is a risky one going by the fact that the Google Glass did not exactly perform outstandingly, Apple certainly has the potential to turn it into something exciting, and more importantly, practical. The idea of using Augmented Reality to bring useful information right to the wearer’s field of vision without them having to look elsewhere is a challenging one, and it has been confirmed that the device is only in its early testing phase. Apple has already acquired a number of companies that hold promising prospects in the field of AR and since then, Apple CEO Tim Cook has been quite vocal about his interests in the field of AR. “I can’t imagine everyone in here getting in an enclosed VR experience while you’re sitting in here with me, but I could imagine everyone in here in an AR experience right now,” he had said at an event, as the report points out.
However, bringing AR into a wearable, an eyewear no less, is an ambitious desire, and one that has failed to do well before. We hope the company’s aspirations to make AR the stuff of everyday use will find materialisation soon.