Apple is currently planning to bring out a wearable device that is similar to the Google Glass.
The new wearable will offer a blend of an enhanced reality display within standard wearable glasses.
Bloomberg News reports that the new wearable device from Apple will offer a reality display within a pair of glasses. The company is in the process of exploring the market for smart glasses, according to the report. Hence, it is not sure when the finished pair of glasses will hit the market. However, the soonest possible time has been revealed as 2018. Yet, it is possible that Apple could sit on this new project for a longer time or even change directions.
AR Related Plans
For the past few months, it has been reported that Apple is collecting AR talents and attempting some consumer product secretly. Tim Cook, the CEO, has regularly been answering questions related to AR, as he feels that this technology offers greater potential when compared to virtual reality. He has hinted that Apple has plans for entering this space.
However, up to September of this year, the company has been hiring AR as well as VR experts, so it is possible that Apple will be developing products related to both AR and VR.
Developing Wearable Glasses
Bloomberg reports that Apple has been having discussions with the potential suppliers of near eye display and other such components. Apple has also the expertise of Flyby, Metaio and PrimeSense, all of which are startups focusing on 3D mapping and AR software. These companies had been focusing on these aspects of computer vision even prior to being acquired by Apple. It is therefore inferred that Apple has the goal of developing wearable glasses that can be connected wirelessly to the iPhone and offer information within the vision field of the wearer.
Hurdles in AR
AR does have some issues and hurdles, with Google Glass being a huge flop. This has given AR a very unpleasant image as far as the public is concerned. This shows that the technology used has to go further before we can use it on our faces. One of the best headsets available is the HoloLens from Microsoft, which is still in the developer’s version. HoloLens is available at a cost of $3000. Magic Leap is a startup that is secretly working on this technology, but the details are not available as yet.
Focusing on VR
The rest of the community is working on VR now, with Google having the Daydream and the new View headset, whereas Oculus VR (owned by Facebook) and Samsung are into high end, mobile headsets. It is not yet evident as to where Apple will fit in this scenario, though Tim Cook remains optimistic about AR. According to Tim Cook, the challenge of this technology is difficult, but it is sure to come about in a huge way and once AR comes to stay we might wonder how we had ever done without it.