Apple may introduce a lightweight pair of AR glasses soon.
Facebook-owned Oculus VR, Samsung, HTC, Microsoft, Google, and others are all dabbling in virtual reality and augmented reality. But what about Apple? Well, everything from patents to acquisitions and talent poaching suggests the Cupertino-based company has something in the works. Even, Robert Scoble, an industry commentator, recently said that Apple will announce AR smart glasses by summer 2017.
During the "This Week in Tech" show on 5 February, Scoble -- citing "many sources" at the "highest levels" -- said Apple, in partnership with Carl Zeiss, is developing a pair of smart glasses and will announce the device within the next six months (or, at the very latest, sometime in 2018). The announcement may be in conjunction with an Apple headquarters announcement or the next iPhone.
Remember, Zeiss already sells the VR One Plus headset, which requires a smartphone, similar to the Samsung Gear VR or Google Daydream headsets. Also, Apple CEO Tim Cook has been dropping hints about Apple's interest in augmented and virtual reality since at least 2015. In January 2016, The Financial Times claimed Apple had a secret team develop applications and headsets for the two technologies.
Then, in July 2016, Cook said during an earnings call: "We are high on AR for the long run... We think there's great things for customers and a great commercial opportunity. So we're investing," It's therefore no surprise to learn about insiders making predictions on Apple's AR plans. In November, analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said Apple would unveil a standalone system, but it's unlikely to debut for another two years.
Furthermore, in 2013, an Apple USPTO patent surfaced that described a "goggle system for providing a personal media viewing experience... may allow the user to move the display generation components for alignment with the user's eyes... may include data processing circuitry operative to adjust left and right images generated by the optical components to display 3-D media". The patent was filed in May 2007.
Check out Pocket-lint's round-up for more leaks and reports about the possibility of an Apple-branded AR headset, including things like release date, features, and pricing.