Apple has reportedly been in talks with suppliers to test prototype augmented reality glasses, according to Bloomberg.
Citing sources familiar with the matter, the report states that the executive team are “weighing an expansion” into digital glasses.
The prototype device connects to an iPhone wirelessly and shows snippets of information from the smartphone in the wearer’s field of vision. We assume it would be similar to Google Glass, but with less clutter on the screen.
The firm has not made a decision on the glasses, but CEO Tim Cook has been hinting at an entry into the market in interviews over the past six months.
The augmented reality glasses could be an extension of the iPhone experience, similar to how the Apple Watch provides quick access to notifications and more access to fitness details.
Google Glass muddied the waters of augmented reality (AR) for a few years, but startups like Magic Leap are making AR sound cool again.
The earliest Apple will enter the market is 2018, according to Bloomberg, but there doesn’t seem to be any manufacturer contracts at the present time.
Apple not always in a hurry
Apple often takes a step back and lets the market stew before entering, as they did with the iPhone and Watch. It may be different this time, as most augmented reality projects are still in alpha or beta.
That’s assuming they launch in 2018, which has not been confirmed. It may take a few more years before entering they enter the AR space, especially if it gets bogged down in its self-driving car project.
Augmented reality has many applicable fields, Magic Leap appears to be aiming for the gaming market, while Microsoft has sent its HoloLens AR headset to NASA for testing on the International Space Station.
We expect Apple’s augmented reality headset to target the consumer space, picking on the same customers that are likely to purchase iPhones and iPads.