Apple is allegedly looking to launch augmented-reality eyewear, according to people familiar with the matter speaking with the Financial Times. Facebook is joining Apple in the AR race to challenge Magic Leap and Microsoft’s HoloLens.
The hardware Apple is currently developing is a pair of AR glasses that could replace the smartphone as consumers’ primary computing device, the sources claim. But development at Apple is far behind that of Microsoft and Magic Leap.
Apple started assembling its AR glass team more than a year ago, the first step being the examination of the feasibility of a head-worn device. Now, sources say, Apple is “devoting more resources to its augmented reality efforts, with the aim of taking it from a science project towards a consumer product”. You may recall that an earlier report also claimed that Apple is ramping up its augmented-reality efforts, although it didn’t mention any AR eyewear.
Despite Apple’s efforts, any launch is still at least a year away, perhaps longer, the Financial Times has learned.
An interesting highlight of the report is that AR seems to have priority over the secretive car project at Apple for its next big launch, beyond the iPhone.
Apple’s head of design, Jony Ive, said that the face was the “wrong place” for the technology, but that was two years ago, just before the Apple Watch launch. Since then, Apple CEO Tim Cook has taken up AR and, at one point, said AR would “take a little while” to arrive, but that “we will wonder, when it does, how we lived without it. Kind of how we wonder how we live without our phones today.”