No, Apple’s next big thing won’t be smart glasses

“Apple is working on glasses that include augmented-reality features, according to a report by Mark Gurman at Bloomberg,” Ian Betteridge writes for Alphr. “The report claims the company is in an ‘exploration phase’ for a set of digital glasses that connect wirelessly to your iPhone and show images and information in your field of vision, like Google Glass, but are also capable of more full augmented reality. The rumoured release date for this device would be around 2018 at the earliest.”

“Gurman has an excellent track record with Apple rumours and has some of the best sources in the business,” Betteridge writes. “However, I think this story is a stretch and that we may not see any kind of AR device from Apple for quite some time.”

“The first issue is simply one of timing. Apple rarely moves first into a market, and consumer-level AR is still in its infancy… After the Google Glass debacle, no-one has really gone near consumer AR,” Betteridge writes. “I don’t have any doubt that Apple is exploring AR and VR… One day, there will be an Apple wearable that sits on your face, rather than on your wrist. But… I suspect Apple will be content to let other companies establish the market and then come in with its own product rather than trying to be first.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: We wouldn’t go so far as to state unequivocally, “No, Apple’s next big thing won’t be smart glasses.”

Stylish eyewear that actually delivers useful data to wearers is potentially a huge market and Apple is exactly the company to deliver just such a wearable.

Apple Specs®. Smart glasses done right.

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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
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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
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Apple granted U.S. patent for hybrid VR head-mounted display – February 18, 2015
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Apple granted a patent for devices with a transparent display – November 18, 2014
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Apple patent application reveals personal display headset invention – May 8, 2014
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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, 201


    1. I agree that they could do a device that does audio (via bone conduction) and video display. But if they want AR, they’d have to have a camera. And that is the problem. There has to be a societal shift and laws for people to accept people wearing a camera all the time. If you are in someone’s home or private business, for example, it would be illegal for you to record them without their permission.

  1. Apple doesn’t build VR-capable devices. Apple doesn’t seem to want to build any devices with high energy requirements. It’s a pity Apple doesn’t have one computer that can use a GTX 1080 GPU. It’s really quite sad for a “computer” company to miss out on something that all Windows device users take for granted. It’s as though Apple has missed this whole decade.

  2. I don’t remember too many multi-touch smartphones or tablets using multi-touch software before Apple introduced the iPhone and iPad. This means Apple basically created these catagories and would be considered first movers.

    Why wouldn’t they do the same with smart glasses or smart contacts?

    1. Google has already moved first on the glasses and smart contacts by Google have been written about for a few years already. Not yet out in production, but well along the road to developing into a product.

  3. The glasses don’t need an imaging camera at all. That’s where Google Glass crossed the line of failure. You’re already looking at the world with your own eyes – the tech just has to overlay that with the data. Positioning can be via GPS, compass, motion sensors and other non-imaging input. Its the same as the Apple Watch – no camera. After all, if you’re carrying your phone, you always have a camera available.

    This is also why the eventual contact lens solution will be effective and popular, if they figure out the tech. No camera, just a data/image overlay to the world you’re already seeing.

  4. The rate Apple is going, there will be no future big thing. Apple is concentrating on being a niche player in luxury goods. Fashion over function. Planned obsolete glued bricks. No trucks, no user configuration control, no hardware upgradeability.

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