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Apple Pursuing Augmented Reality Glasses that Connect to an iPhone

15 November 2016

Google may have failed in its first attempt to bring augmented reality (AR) glasses to the mainstream market, but that is not stopping one of its main rivals in trying.

Apple, Inc. reportedly is in the exploration phase for AR digital glasses that would connect wirelessly to iPhones to show images and information in the field of vision of a user. The report, coming from Bloomberg, says Apple has recently ordered quantities of near-eye displays for testing and is talking with potential suppliers if the project gets off the ground.

Apple has previously been in the exploratory phase for a number of different technologies—most recently with its Project Titan, a plan to introduce its own Apple-branded electric vehicles. However Project Titan was dumped recently (according to reports, Apple never confirmed officially it was working on an electric car) in favor of working on an autonomous driving project it could sell to automotive manufacturers as a third party.

While the automotive industry is a far departure from Apple’s bread and butter, digital glasses fitted to work with mobile devices, on the other hand, could mesh well with Apple’s line of smartphones, tablets and other wearables.

The project could stem out of Apple’s recent acquisitions of PrimeSense, a company that makes motion-sensing technology, and other AR start-up companies such as Metaio and Flyby Media. Tim Cook, CEO of Apple, has previously stated AR could be a great opportunity for the company, saying, “We are high on AR for the long run.”

If Apple decides to go ahead with consumer glasses, the earliest it could get the product to market would be 2018, the report states.

To contact the author of this article, email Peter.Brown@ieeeglobalspec.com


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