“Companies are racing to be the first to get lightweight augmented reality glasses into consumers’ hands,” Mark Gurman and Mark Bergen report for Bloomberg. “Amazon, which pioneered the smart speaker, hasn’t said much publicly about AR or VR. But a person familiar with the company’s thinking said that it’s far more likely to choose augmented reality if it makes a headset. Amazon is actively exploring headset technologies, though a launch may be years away, another person said.”

“During CES, representatives from major players like Apple, Facebook, and Google met with suppliers that make the nuts and bolts required to power AR glasses, according to people familiar with the meetings,” Gurman and Bergen report. “Smaller firms like Snap and China’s Xiaomi also met with potential partners at the show, indicating a desire to build their own AR headsets. Behind the scenes, Samsung and LG have already placed small orders of AR components to start prototyping devices.”

“All eyes are on Apple, which considers AR as potentially revolutionary as the smartphone. ‘Put simply, we believe AR is going to change the way we use technology forever,’ Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook said in a recent earnings call. Apple aims to have technology ready by the end 2019, Bloomberg News reported in November,” Gurman and Bergen report. “It’s an aggressive schedule that could well change. And even if Apple is first out of the gate, its rivals probably won’t be far behind.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Note: Apple CEO Cook during the company’s Q317 conference call with analysts on August 1, 2017:

One of the most exciting and most promising announcements from WWDC was the introduction of ARKit, a new set of tools for developers to create augmented reality apps. It’s still early in the beta period, but it’s clear that ARKit has captured the imagination of our developer community. We think ARKit will help the most creative minds in the industry tap into the latest computer vision technologies to build engaging content.

We believe AR has broad mainstream applicability across education, entertainment, interactive gaming, enterprise, and categories we probably haven’t even thought of. With hundreds of millions of people actively using iPhone and iPad today, iOS will become the world’s biggest augmented reality platform as soon as iOS 11 ships.

Apple CEO Cook during the company’s Q417 conference call with analysts on November 2, 2017:

The launch of iOS 11 also made iOS the world’s largest platform for augmented reality. There are already over 1,000 apps with powerful AR features in our App Store today, with developers creating amazing new experiences in virtually every category of apps aimed at consumers, students and business users alike. Put simply, we believe AR is going to change the way we use technology forever.

We’re already seeing things that will transform the way you work, play, connect and learn. For example, there are AR apps that let you interact with virtual models of everything you can imagine, from the human body to the solar system. And of course, you experience them like they’re really there. Instantly, education becomes much more powerful when every subject comes to life in 3D. And imagine shopping when you can place an object in your living room before you make a purchase, or attending live sporting events when you can see the stats on the field. AR is going to change everything.

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[Thanks to MacDailyNews Readers “Fred Mertz” and “Judge Bork” for the heads up.]