As the technology battle heats up and Apple looks for new ways to keep users locked into its Apple ecosystem, perhaps a new wearable device could be just what the doctor ordered?
As you’ve probably heard, Apple is currently developing a pair of augmented reality glasses that could be released in the coming years, and naturally, Apple fans are getting pretty excited.
Time to take a closer look at what we know about the Apple Glasses project so far…
Apple has been working on the project for ten years
According to patent filings, Apple has been working on a pair of virtual reality or augmented reality glasses for more than ten years.
Since Apple introduced ARKit with iOS, the race to release a new AR-powered wearable has never been more competitive, and with tonnes of patents and inventions hidden behind closed doors, Apple Glasses could soon be a reality.
Apple has hundreds of employees working on them
Some rumors suggest that Apple has a secret research unit that’s home to hundreds of Apple employees and technicians working on the Apple Glasses project.
The unit has been experimenting with both VR and AR, and with tonnes of Apple employees based out of Cupertino in unspecified roles, we can believe that this one is true.
But where are the leaks!?
They’re coming sooner than you think
According to analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, Apple could be ready to release its augmented reality smart glasses in late 2019 or early 2020.
The glasses will be marketed as an accessory to the iPhone, and take on a “display role” whilst relaying information from your iPhone.
Apple reportedly wanted the glasses to serve as an accessory or companion to the iPhone so they could keep them slim and lightweight, rather than housing a processor inside the chassis.
The device will feature two 8K displays
Other rumors suggest that Apple’s new augmented reality glasses will feature an 8K display for each eye and that they can be untethered from either a computer or a smartphone.
This is a conflicting report to Ming-Chi’s, suggesting that they can work with virtual and augmented reality applications and serve as a gaming accessory rather than a productivity accessory, but with Apple releasing Apple Arcade this autumn, this rumor isn’t impossible.
They’ll need a dedicated box
Following on from the idea that Apple Glasses will be a gaming accessory, reports suggest that Apple will require users to have a dedicated box that uses high-speed short-range wireless tech called 60GHz WiGig to deliver data to the glasses, rather than connecting them to an iPhone.
The box would feature a custom Apple processor, and mean users would only be able to use their Apple Glasses at home for gaming purposes.
Apple has acquired similar brands
Apple has made a number of high-profile mixed reality acquisitions in recent years, including Vrvana at the end of 2017, who developed a headset called Totem.
Purchasing Vrvana’s technology gives Apple the upper hand and allows it to develop Glasses in record speed.
The company purchased Akonia Holographics, a company that makes lenses for AR smart glasses, just months later.
Could it strip the bare bones from these companies to develop its own new technology, as it did with Siri and Apple News+ in the past? It’s very likely!
They might work with Apple Car
Finally, some rumors have indicated that Apple Glasses could work with Apple’s rumored car project as part of its in-car software package.
The glasses could provide all of the necessary information – like a dashboard, time, petrol gauge and mileage – so Apple can build stunning, distraction-free car interiors that would help it sell more units to image-conscious consumers.
Apple is keeping tight-lipped on its Glasses project, but one thing is for sure: you can expect concrete news in the next year or two. Keep it AppleMagazine for the latest on everything Apple, every week, and let us know your thoughts on its Glasses using @AppleMagazine.