Rumors suggest that Apple may be working on augmented reality glasses. Code in the iOS 13 beta suggests that Apple’s high tech spectacles are currently in development.
Google Glass launched several years ago, but quietly fizzled out, at least for consumers. Although the idea of augmented reality glasses has a certain “gee whiz” factor, the public didn’t adopt the technology. Google Glass still exists, however, the product is sold to large corporations for enterprise applications.
Years have elapsed since the Google Glass debut, yet few competitors have emerged. This is not surprising, as eyeglasses are fashion. Unlike a smartphone, people tend to wear their glasses all the time. They’re unavoidable to others — they’re practically a facial feature. It’s difficult to imagine customers conforming to one style of eyeglass frame.
Rumors abound that Apple is working on augmented reality eyeglasses. The technology superimposes graphics on top of the lenses, adding contextual information to everyday reality. For example, you could look down the street and see Yelp reviews for restaurants superimposed on the actual store fronts. Navigating the freeways would be much easier, as drivers would no longer need to avert their eyes from the road.
Two pieces of evidence seem to indicate that Apple has done some research and development on augmented reality eyewear. Builds of iOS 13, used at Apple, contain references to using the iPhone in a stereoscopic mode. Additionally, Ming-Chi Kuo, a very reliable Apple analyst, claims that Apple will start manufacturing augmented reality spectacles by the end of 2019.
It’s entirely possible that Apple did the research and development, but ended up deciding to shelve the product. This happens all the time, and more so with Apple, a company famous for saying “no” more than “yes”. Unlike Google, Apple is under a microscope. Any small misstep will send the stock price plummeting. The Cupertino company would rather delay the release of a groundbreaking new product, rather than face the consequences of failure.
It’s possible that Apple may announce augmented reality glasses at their upcoming iPhone event. The event is expected to be held on September 12, 2019.