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(Pocket-lint) - Some people expected Apple to unveil AR glasses in June.

But instead, while at its WWDC 2017 conference, Apple unveiled ARKit, a development platform that allows app developers to quickly and easily build augmented reality (AR) experiences into their apps and games. It will launch alongside iOS 11 this autumn. But that doesn't mean Apple won't ever come up with its own hardware for AR, especially if a new patent is to be believed.

Apple CEO Tim Cook has hinted in the past that Apple is heavily exploring AR, and thanks to a patent application published via USPTO on 27 July, we know that the company has considered developing a device that can overlay information on the real world, such as a point-of-interest marker on a building or a map that outlines a car’s dashboard, etc. You'd use your iPhone for this, as well.

For instance, you’d hold it out and use the camera to capture the world, and then the screen would overlay the AR elements. While that's interesting and all, the most fascinating aspect is that the patent described “semi-transparent spectacle or glasses". In other words, AR glasses that would overlay data or information on top of what you’re seeing, much like Google Glass does.

Patently Apple noted this patent originates from Metaio, too, a startup that Apple purchased a couple years back.

Writing by Elyse Betters. Originally published on 27 July 2017.