DigiTimes: Apple ‘reportedly’ ends AR glasses development

Joe Rossignol for MacRumors:

Apple has reportedly “terminated” development of its widely rumored augmented reality glasses project, according to DigiTimes.

Multiple sources have claimed that Apple planned to release augmented reality glasses as early as 2020, including well-known analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, Bloomberg‘s Mark Gurman, and CNET, so if the DigiTimes report is accurate, this would reflect a cancellation of a major hardware project on Apple’s roadmap.

Full story is currently paywalled.

Also consider:

MacDailyNews Take: Sorry, we don’t buy it. It simply feels wrong. Unless it simply means development has moved to the next stage…

24 Comments

    1. Imagine a heads up display (in your AR glasses) linked with Minority Report type Hand gesture manipulation and audio converted to text or commands and a on/off visuals button on the frame for a calendar, or a post it notes app or? Or? Or? By the way, Apple just registered Minority Report. Hmmmm?

    1. Was it ever envisioned that people would drive with an unsafe portion of their attention on their ongoing text conversations? The sense of the urgent will determine usefulness, imo.

    2. Agreed. At least I certainly wouldn’t want to. I understand it might be useful for some inventory businesses, or other specialized jobs, but not for the average consumer. To me, the only thing that’s more useless than AR glasses are VR goggles. Maybe I’m just too old to appreciate these new technologies, but I’m just not interested in them. I’m not trying to predict the future. I’m just saying those things aren’t for me. I’m perfectly satisfied using a smartphone, laptop or desktop display and don’t need the additional cost or complexity of extra hardware.

      1. Agreed. AR goggles/glasses are best suited for those environments where you need use of both hands and HUDs augment your productivity or informational needs of the moment. Outside of the usual targets of product picker, mechanic, and possibly surgeon, such devices may be useful for race drivers, pilots and first responders.

        I wouldn’t put it past Disney/Universal however to implement them in making their park experiences even more immersive.

    3. Half the people walking around are wearing glasses already. Obviously the interaction wouldn’t be “staring” at bits of media for extended periods of time. In fact it shouldn’t even be visible from the outside perspective.

      PS. If this project is shelved, much of the ARkit efforts are kinda pointless. Handsfree has always been the goal.

  1. Digitimes is sketchy reporting at best. Most likely right in an attempt to manipulate the stock. Happened EVERY earnings season, you see the negative stories on AAPL everywhere.

    1. Digitimes has one of the worst (if not THE worst) track record in claiming to know what Apple is doing or will be doing. I pretty much ignore anything that comes from them.

  2. I’d buy this from 2000s Apple. AR is a pretty weak gimmick, and Apple wasn’t afraid to walk away from sunk costs.

    More recently, that hasn’t been the case, with the notable exception of Air Power.

    1. AR can be great, if done right. The problem for me is that none of them so far are anything but major kludges. People have been investigating AR for almost 40 years. Hell, HP even put out articles in the very late 70s and early 80s that their high end calculators could possibly include AR in their screens. To date no one has been able to come close to getting it right.

      At this point (and with past predictions that Apple is pursuing AR glasses) I put the predictions that Apple is doing AR glasses in the same category as Apple doing a stand alone television. For several years many analysts were claiming, “Apple will ship a stand alone Apple branded television next year.” That never materialized and likely never will. I think the same of “Apple AR Glasses”.

      1. I think that Apple AR Glasses have a strong chance if targeted at specialists such as doctors, truck drivers, bird watchers, bicyclists, and music listeners who want to read the words.

        1. Apple will be diving into a much smaller market than they are used to at that point and competing with the likes of Google which never stopped their Glass development.

          Perhaps a display over a single eye (like those power meters in Dragonball) might be something Apple could pioneer for AR. If need be it could be like Airpods where you could have a setup that uses both right and left units or only one side if desired.

  3. Good, it was a dumb idea. AR has its uses, but it makes a lot of easy things more complex, I doubt it will ever be of any great practical utility for a great many activities. Mobile technology simplified, it didn’t add complexity or tedium. The glasses were DOA, anyway.

  4. I’ve recently seen other articles saying Apple hasn’t canceled its AR glasses project, so I would take this article with a grain of salt. I think some authors will say just about anything to get some quick clicks.

  5. It is possible they cancelled a particular design, or a particular manufacturer could not meet spec. That does not mean AR glasses are not under developmental.

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