Apple considers move into smart glasses

“Apple Inc. is weighing an expansion into digital glasses, a risky but potentially lucrative area of wearable computing, according to people familiar with the matter,” Mark Gurman, Alex Webb, and Ian King report for Bloomberg. “While still in an exploration phase, the device would connect wirelessly to iPhones, show images and other information in the wearer’s field of vision, and may use augmented reality, the people said.”

“Apple has talked about its glasses project with potential suppliers, according to people familiar with those discussions,” Gurman, Webb, and King report. “The company has ordered small quantities of near-eye displays from one supplier for testing, the people said. Apple hasn’t ordered enough components so far to indicate imminent mass-production, one of the people added.”

“Should Apple ultimately decide to proceed with the device, it would be introduced in 2018 at the earliest, another person said. The Cupertino, California-based company tests many different products and is known to pivot, pause, or cancel projects without disclosing them,” Gurman, Webb, and King report. “The glasses may be Apple’s first hardware product targeted directly at AR, one of the people said… Apple has AR patents for things like street view in mapping apps. It was also awarded patents for smart glasses that make use of full-fledged virtual reality.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Apple Specs®. Wearable eyewear done right.

Apple granted another Augmented Reality head-mounted display patent – November 10, 2016
Snapchat introduces ‘Spectacles’ eyewear that record video – September 26, 2016
Ming-Chi Kuo: Apple will have a 3-5 year lead in augmented reality; use as part of an autonomous driving system – November 2, 2016
Apple CEO Tim Cook: ‘We are high on Augmented Reality for the long run’ – October 14, 2016
iPhone 7 Plus is the starting point of Apple’s major push into augmented reality – September 28, 2016
iPhone 7 Plus proves Apple is gearing up for augmented reality – September 27, 2016
What iPhone 7 says about Apple’s future augmented reality plans – September 19, 2016
Apple needs to forget chasing Snapchat and go after the Augmented Reality industry – August 25, 2016
Tim Cook publicly confirms Apple has augmented reality plans – July 27, 2016
Apple acquires Flyby Media; assembles large team of virtual and augmented reality experts – January 29, 2016
Apple hires leading virtual reality researcher – January 22, 2016
Apple is building a virtual reality supply chain with disruptive potential, new research shows – November 19, 2015
Analyst: Apple team exploring virtual reality/augmented reality – August 31, 2015
Apple exploring a new reality with purchase of Metaio – June 3, 2015
Apple patents perforated augmented reality display that you can see and hear through – May 29, 2015
Apple acquires augmented reality company Metaio – May 28, 2015
New Apple haptics patent application reveals diamond-layered trackpad that simulates wood, other textures – April 23, 2015
Apple granted U.S. patent for hybrid VR head-mounted display – February 18, 2015
Apple is working on VR user interfaces and gaming; looking for Oculus and Leap experts – February 10, 2015
Apple granted patent for display-based speakers for iOS devices – January 13, 2015
Apple granted a patent for devices with a transparent display – November 18, 2014
Apple’s new iPhones, iPads could feature haptic displays – June 30, 2014
Apple patent application reveals personal display headset invention – May 8, 2014
Apple patent application reveals wildly intelligent multi-tiered haptics system – May 3, 2012
Apple continues to tweak Apple TV video headset accessory – April 10, 2014
Apple patent application reveals sapphire flexible transparent display devices created with Liquidmetal – December 19, 2013
Apple granted knockout patent for head-mounted personal display – December 10, 2013
Powerful new patent application details next step in Apple ‘iGlasses’ project – December 7, 2012
iGlasses: Apple granted patent for head-mounted augmented reality displays – July 5, 2012


    1. After all, Tim Cook is a fashion oriented incompetent. Just look at all the bombs he’s dropped on us thus far:

      Apple Watch (overpriced, under-engineered, completely unnecessary)

      Macbook (useless netbook with one useless port, released by a useless CEO)

      Mac Pro (expensive, non-upgradeable, about as innovative as a waste basket)

      ATV 4 (removed features that the prior version had, terrible remote, no 4K, overpriced, locked down… waste of money compared to competition)

      Macbook Pro 2016 (overpriced, forced ports that aren’t widely used, hobbled, made to sell greedy Cook’s adapters, with a $200 adapter tax baked into the already padded 30% marked up price)

      Apple Music (UI disaster, waste of money, falls well short of just about every service that offers the same features for FREE)

      AAPL (sank back down to $105 (say goodbye to 150 billion in market value)

      Thank Tim Cook for being lazy, greedy, and incompetent.

      1. Apple Watch is overpriced compared to what? It is is massively over-engineered in comparison to other offerings, but I freely admit it’s not a product that’s going to see widespread (and profitable) adoption, but then again neither is any other wearable device.
        MacBook, so far seems to be getting good reviews. How exactly is the port “useless”? It may need adapters for certain legacy devices, but this is not a new direction brought in by Tim Cook. Ports were dumped and reduced in number when Steve Jobs was around.
        Mac Pro. It was innovative and would have been ok if they had updated it, but they haven’t so I agree they’ve dropped the ball massively there.
        ATV 4. I agree on the remote, but then again, whilst marginally easier to work out which way is up, the previous ones were never good. Personally I don’t feel that any other devices really offer a decent solution across the board. Perhaps in the US it’s better, but in the UK and pretty much every other country content is simply not available online only – at least with any one solution.
        MacBook Pro. Stop going on about ports, Apple have been dropping ports for newer standards for decades. People got over it.
        With Apple Music, since it’s the same app regardless of wether you pay for the service or not I don’t know of any other service that offers the same selection of music for FREE. I’ve had issues with Apple’s Music offerings for years, even before Steve Jobs died.
        AAPL stock has been fluctuating and underperforming for years.
        These issues are not specifically Tim Cook problems. Yes, there are certain decisions that likely wouldn’t have been made with Steve Jobs in charge, but he’s not. I’m sure Tim Cook would love him to be alive and in charge, but he’s not. Nobody is Steve Jobs and he made product missteps as well, look at the iPod Hifi boombox they released, that hardly set the world on fire.

        There are definite issues at Apple, but just blaming them all on Tim Cook as if things were some 100% error free utopia before are stupid.

        1. Moving to an all-USB-C physical format when there are approximately ZERO usb-c native devices on the market creates the dongle-mess that people are complaining about. Granted, in the laptop form factor, you have to make some hard decisions.

          A more transitional approach (a pair of SS10Gb USB-A ports and a pair of TB3 / USB-C ports) would permit easy connection of all your existing USB 3/2/1 devices (inc. keyboards, mice, license dongles, monitors with USB hubs, etc.) and need dongles only for your TB devices.

          Start selling new gear with USB-C and within a couple of model releases, kill off Type-A.


    2. Seems everyone blames Tim Cook for lack of Apple vision when he’s completely hamstrung by Jony Ive. Ive is the problem, an entrenched and teflon prima dona whose ego is boundless while his talent is narrow and anal retentive. Cook positioned himself as logistics King with an untouchable unaccountable Crown Prince ordained by Jobs himself, can never change nor truly breakout.

      1. Thanks for your obtuse and woefully misinformed statement. Jony has a strong voice with regard to product direction but the leadership team works by consensus. And Jony is most certainly NOT the driving voice when it comes to the selection of connectors or processors, although without a doubt he has an opinion that he will not be shy of sharing.

        Since the leadership team now works by consensus, one could conclude that that is a fundamental change from when Steve was around because he would have had the authority and clout to override anyone and everyone. And one could argue from the sidelines that a consensus approach has hamstrung Apple and made it less nimble and less daring in its decision making.

        Don’t be too quick to call out Jony as the bad guy. He is neither a fool nor a prima donna. Your characterization of him as such reflects more on you. Jony and his team are the ones who ensure the exquisite attention to product detail that no other company on the planet has ever matched. They are what makes Apple special. If you don’t see that then you are truly lost.

  1. I dunno. Make sure it can’t shoot pics or record video or it’ll suffer from Glasshole Syndrome. Google ruined that market I would think for a while longer making people apprehensive in the presence of geek Glassholes.

    1. I think the main reason why Glass failed is because the users looked ridiculous wearing them. Normal looking glasses, or fashion forward looking glasses will have a much better reaction. Also, it didn’t help Google that they are known as the spy on everything their users do company.

      1. I don’t think most people care a jot about Googles snoopster tendencies sadly. Looking stupid, limited functionality and mediocre battery life is a totally different matter. In some ways glass functionality within ‘normal’ glasses is rather more scary and without recording functionality half of its appeal seems to have gone, but then that rather speaks of the potential market anyway.

        I think it far more likely that this is more about personal AR (VR) test beds that could be used in various ways most of which have little to do with a Google Glass type device, though I suspect for the likes of Rajit and his fellow trollsters that is probably too complex a thought to register in his floppy disc drive.

      2. Right… people were getting upset (hostilely confronting users and/or by ripping them off users’ faces and smashing them, etc.) with glassholes because Glass users looked stupid wearing them.

        Not in a million years. This wasn’t a fashion war. It was because of the recording functions, pure and simple.

        That idea overcame every other “plus” that Glass may have had… and, judging by the “success of Glass”, I’m dubious the totality of those were worth anything without it.

        Glasses aren’t like watches. They are for vision problems as not everyone can wear contacts. If your vision is fine, you don’t wear glasses (except sunglasses) because wearing glasses is still an aggravation at best and can be a pain, literally.

        I think a lot of people are so in love with the idea of VR/AR, they are blind to certain pragmatic/functional issues.

        Kind of like those people so in love with touch they dismiss or just refuse to accept the inherent pragmatic ergonomic issues that can’t be overcome.

    1. .. and most Rajit still do, don’t confuse a sane discussion with rabid support for a as yet totally failed concept conjured up by speculative chitchat based little to no evidence. We leave that sort of thing to your particular platforms and forums.

  2. Let me guess, I’ll need a $700 iWatch on a $700 iPhone to use the $700 iGlasses to be $2100 übergeeky… and still walk in front of cars as I’m texting my girlfriend’s cat.

  3. So now you can be an Apple Fanboy Glasshole?

    Cook has no vision. He is following where others have already taken the lead. Rental Music was Microsoft and Real Networks. Glasses were Google. Streaming Boxes were any number of players. Rental software (software as a service) has many fathers.

    Steve Jobs said his success was to pick a few areas- very few and to skate to where the puck was going. Cook is following others skating to where the puck is sitting on the ice. You lose first mover advantage to define the market.

    There is a Bible verse that goes “where there is no vision the people perish…”. Apple under Cook has been about iteration, imitation and financial engineering (stock buybacks, dividends and such). The money pissed away on Beats, stock buybacks and such could have been used to design state of the art Macs, move Apple further into the enterprise, develop new technologies and grow the damn company other than in headcount.

    Take it from some who wears glasses- they are a pain in the ass. Nobody who does not have to wear them wants them.

  4. ….AND… the MOST LIKELY Apple product to keep the i-moniker against the given Apple name.

    2012: Hey, is that the new iTouch? (no one says this by 2013)
    2015: Hey, is that the new iWatch? (no one says this by 2016)
    2018: Hey, are those the new iGlasses? (everyone says this into eternity)

  5. So would owners of this product be called iHoles? I find it difficult to believe Apple would make the same social mistake Google made. People do not want cameras pointed at them all the time with surreptitious photography or videography. I did see a crowd-source product that is essentially headphones in eyeglass form that used bone conduction, rather than in ear buds. It has no camera. So I can see that as a viable product, but probably not exciting enough for Apple. I think they’d have to do a screen. But I don’t think they could do it like Google with those weird glasses. I’d think they’d have to look more like normal glasses. And I’d think with Apple’s fashion efforts with Watch that they’d probably do that with glasses. The question is: can they create glasses that can display an image on the screen in a less intrusive and awkward looking way than Google Glass did. Can you make lenses that have a display in the glass that can be seen from behind, but not from the front? Or are you stuck with that stupid thing that hangs down into your eye line?

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.