Apple 'stepping up' development of augmented reality glasses, moving towards consumer devi...

Posted:
in Future Apple Hardware
Apple is reportedly "stepping up its efforts" in developing augmented reality glasses, allocating more resources to the project with the aim of shifting it from research into a consumer product.

Google's early effort at AR-like technology, Google Glass.
Google's early effort at AR-like technology, Google Glass.


AR technology has apparently overtaken "Project Titan" -- its self-driving car initiative -- as the company's next big priority apart from the iPhone, according to the Financial Times, citing sources familiar with Apple's plans. Any retail launch is thought to be at least a year away, however.

While multiple reports have suggested that Apple is working on AR and Chief Executive Tim Cook has repeatedly expressed interest in the concept, the Times's claim contradicts one made by tech prognosticator Robert Scoble, who recently cited his own sources as saying that Apple could make an announcement as soon as mid-2017, even if that date might slip until 2018.

Scoble suggested that Apple is working on a pair of lightweight glasses in partnership with optical specialist Carl Zeiss. People would need to pair this with a separate set of electronics, such as an iPhone or another accessory.

More recently, a separate report backed the idea that Apple is building AR glasses and assigning a high-profile team to work on the task. The company allegedly has "hundreds" of engineers working on different aspects, but like the Times, the report suggested that a retail product won't be announced anytime soon.

Sources told the Times that Magic Leap -- a company Cook recently visited -- is expected to launch its own "light-field" AR glasses later this year, beating out Microsoft's experimental HoloLens set in terms of size and field of view. The Magic Leap glasses will reportedly be tethered to a pack providing both power and processing, and cost upwards of $1,000.
«1

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 24
    irelandireland Posts: 16,530member
    Yeah I don't see it.
    SpamSandwich
  • Reply 2 of 24
    maestro64maestro64 Posts: 3,383member

    This is the point people who never worked in a R&D or product development environment and these are distinctly two different things. Apple could be doing lots of R&D on various topics or technologies but this does not mean any of these ideas will ever see the light of day or be a consumer based product. Just look at all the Apple patents, their are lots of ideas coming out of Apple, how many of those patent ideas have turned into a real product.

    Everyone should believe Apple is doing work with AR/VR, what you should not believe is that Apple will be turning out a consumer based product around these technologies. Remember Apple is a consumer Electronic company not a R&D think tank who comes up with great idea that only a few people will buy into.

    cornchipwatto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 24
    ireland said:
    Yeah I don't see it.
    That would probably become the number one troubleshooting complaint too.
    blastdoordysamoriacornchip
  • Reply 4 of 24
    I wonder if Apple has looked at, or expressed any interest in, ODG?
    Seems exactly like a cutting-edge, small acquisition Apple would make.
    Interesting, if not lengthy, demo. of prototype hardware in development in 2015 here.
    steven n.
  • Reply 5 of 24
    wigbywigby Posts: 554member
    maestro64 said:

    This is the point people who never worked in a R&D or product development environment and these are distinctly two different things. Apple could be doing lots of R&D on various topics or technologies but this does not mean any of these ideas will ever see the light of day or be a consumer based product. Just look at all the Apple patents, their are lots of ideas coming out of Apple, how many of those patent ideas have turned into a real product.

    Everyone should believe Apple is doing work with AR/VR, what you should not believe is that Apple will be turning out a consumer based product around these technologies. Remember Apple is a consumer Electronic company not a R&D think tank who comes up with great idea that only a few people will buy into.

    You're all over the place here... "what you should not believe is that Apple will be turning out a consumer based product around these technologies." "Remember Apple is a consumer Electronic company" I read those two statements as contradictory. Why would Tim Cook constantly be teasing AR if they were only doing R&D with no plans to release something for consumers?
    edited March 27 watto_cobratoysandmetoysandme
  • Reply 6 of 24
    sog35sog35 Posts: 12,367member
    This makes 100x more sense than a car.

    Cars are low margin and mega high risk business. Look at Tesla. They are selling cars at an average price of $90k and still they lose $10,000 on every car they sell. What a horrible business. And the regulatory risk is off the charts.

    AR 'Glasses' make total sense.  For those who already wear glasses the transition will be super easy. For those that don't, a bit harder. 
    toysandme
  • Reply 7 of 24
    maestro64maestro64 Posts: 3,383member
    wigby said:
    maestro64 said:

    This is the point people who never worked in a R&D or product development environment and these are distinctly two different things. Apple could be doing lots of R&D on various topics or technologies but this does not mean any of these ideas will ever see the light of day or be a consumer based product. Just look at all the Apple patents, their are lots of ideas coming out of Apple, how many of those patent ideas have turned into a real product.

    Everyone should believe Apple is doing work with AR/VR, what you should not believe is that Apple will be turning out a consumer based product around these technologies. Remember Apple is a consumer Electronic company not a R&D think tank who comes up with great idea that only a few people will buy into.

    You're all over the place here... "what you should not believe is that Apple will be turning out a consumer based product around these technologies." "Remember Apple is a consumer Electronic company" I read those two statements as contradictory. Why would Tim Cook constantly be teasing AR if they were only doing R&D with no plans to release something for consumers?


    Because he never said they will make a AR/VR product, saying he is interested in the technology and doing R&D is one things, productizing it is a completely different thing. Just like Steve Jobs saying Apple will never make a PDA, when in reality they at is what they did, it was called an iPhone. This is just the opposite example saying not going to do something only to do and call it by a different name.

    R&D is not product development Apple does lots of R&D but we all know what comes out of product development organizations at Apple just go to any Apple store, it is those things you can buy.

    edited March 27
  • Reply 8 of 24
    tjwolftjwolf Posts: 108member
    Love these article - the existence of the "Titan" project was never really substantiated with real evidence.  Now, that the also rumored self-driving car doesn't seem to be materializing, "Titan" is supposedly taking a back-seat to this new AR effort.  Not much has changed either....instead of supposedly putting hundreds of engineers behind self-driving cars, they're now put behind commercializing AR....

    Not saying AR isn't a priority at Apple.  Just that these rumor mills posing as 'news' by naming unsubstantiated and often unnamed "sources" contribute to the increasing mistrust towards real news.
    StrangeDaysdysamoria
  • Reply 9 of 24
    Echoing Sog35...

    Good.

    While I have a personal interest in Project Titan, an AR product is likely better for Apple (and AAPL):
       - Higher volume
       - Higher margin
       - Lower risk
       - More natural extension of existing products
       - Higher 'extensibility" potential (use cases in new areas)

    The biggest challenge is probably overcoming the "dork factor": how to create a physical UI (glasses or something else) that works and doesn't make the user feel silly.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 24
    sog35sog35 Posts: 12,367member
    Echoing Sog35...

    Good.

    While I have a personal interest in Project Titan, an AR product is likely better for Apple (and AAPL):
       - Higher volume
       - Higher margin
       - Lower risk
       - More natural extension of existing products
       - Higher 'extensibility" potential (use cases in new areas)

    The biggest challenge is probably overcoming the "dork factor": how to create a physical UI (glasses or something else) that works and doesn't make the user feel silly.
    Couple ways to make to less dorky.

    1. For eye glass wearers. Pretty easy. Just make it look a decent pair of glasses. And for heavens sake, make it SYMMETRICAL! Unlike the Google Glass, with its horrible unsymmetrical design.

    2. For non eye glass wearers: make it look like sunglasses. Most non eyeglass wearers don't mind wearing sunglasses. Problem is what about during the night? They might have to make some type of reverse transition lense that gets more clear when light is more limited.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 24
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 1,356member

    AR technology has apparently overtaken "Project Titan" -- its self-driving car initiative -- 
    Er, you mean its "rumored" car initiative, self driving or otherwise. Never announced, no press release.
    dysamoriawatto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 24
    Will we call the users "App-holes?"
    dysamoriacornchip
  • Reply 13 of 24
    rogifan_newrogifan_new Posts: 1,582member
    sog35 said:
    This makes 100x more sense than a car.

    Cars are low margin and mega high risk business. Look at Tesla. They are selling cars at an average price of $90k and still they lose $10,000 on every car they sell. What a horrible business. And the regulatory risk is off the charts.

    AR 'Glasses' make total sense.  For those who already wear glasses the transition will be super easy. For those that don't, a bit harder. 
    And if Apple's stock price wasn't where it is now you would be arguing just the opposite and railing against Tim Cook as a leader. Your opinion is 100% driven by where Apple's stock price is.

    Anyway autonomous vehicles and AR glasses are completely different things. The idea that Apple would scrap one for the other is ridiculous. Of course the piece actually said AR was the top priority for the "next big launch" which is not surprising as anything on the car front would be years away.

    I find these reports of AR glasses amusing considering both Tim Cook and Jony Ive panned glasses like Google Glass and said the wrist was the right place. I believe Tim Cook even said people wear glasses because they have to not because they want to. IF Apple is going down this path my guess is it will be more business/service industry focused than consumer focused. 
    edited March 27
  • Reply 14 of 24
    sog35sog35 Posts: 12,367member
    sog35 said:
    This makes 100x more sense than a car.

    Cars are low margin and mega high risk business. Look at Tesla. They are selling cars at an average price of $90k and still they lose $10,000 on every car they sell. What a horrible business. And the regulatory risk is off the charts.

    AR 'Glasses' make total sense.  For those who already wear glasses the transition will be super easy. For those that don't, a bit harder. 
    And if Apple's stock price wasn't where it is now you would be arguing just the opposite and railing against Tim Cook as a leader. Your opinion is 100% driven by where Apple's stock price is.

    Anyway autonomous vehicles and AR glasses are completely different things. The idea that Apple would scrap one for the other is ridiculous. Of course the piece actually said AR was the top priority for the "next big launch" which is not surprising as anything on the car front would be years away.

    I find these reports of AR glasses amusing considering both Tim Cook and Jony Ive panned glasses like Google Glass and said the wrist was the right place. I believe Tim Cook even said people wear glasses because they have to not because they want to. IF Apple is going down this path my guess is it will be more business/service industry focused than consumer focused. 
    Tim Cook wears glasses because he wants to. he could easily wear contacts or get eye surgery.

    Tim Cook panned Google glass because it looks stupid. The wrist was the right place in 2015 because tech was not ready to make AR glasses that don't look stupid. In 2018? The tech probably will be ready to make AR glasses that look just like regular glasses.
    patchythepirate
  • Reply 15 of 24
    "Scoble suggested that Apple is working on a pair of lightweight glasses" Scoble is ALWAYS wrong in his predictions about Apple. I seriously doubt that Apple is working on a Google-Glass type of glasses. Wearing a computer on your face has proven to be a futile effort for both the users and for everyone else that must suffer those "glassholes". Apple's AR will most likely be used in iPhones & iPads, CarPlay (with forward facing cameras), and a HUD (heads up display) built into new cars as part of Apple's automotive technology efforts.
    dysamoriacornchip
  • Reply 16 of 24
    rogifan_newrogifan_new Posts: 1,582member
    jurassic said:
    "Scoble suggested that Apple is working on a pair of lightweight glasses" Scoble is ALWAYS wrong in his predictions about Apple. I seriously doubt that Apple is working on a Google-Glass type of glasses. Wearing a computer on your face has proven to be a futile effort for both the users and for everyone else that must suffer those "glassholes". Apple's AR will most likely be used in iPhones & iPads, CarPlay (with forward facing cameras), and a HUD (heads up display) built into new cars as part of Apple's automotive technology efforts.
    Built in to whose new cars? We have no evidence that any auto company is working with Apple on this.
  • Reply 17 of 24
    blastdoorblastdoor Posts: 1,609member
    sog35 said:
    Echoing Sog35...

    Good.

    While I have a personal interest in Project Titan, an AR product is likely better for Apple (and AAPL):
       - Higher volume
       - Higher margin
       - Lower risk
       - More natural extension of existing products
       - Higher 'extensibility" potential (use cases in new areas)

    The biggest challenge is probably overcoming the "dork factor": how to create a physical UI (glasses or something else) that works and doesn't make the user feel silly.
    Couple ways to make to less dorky.

    1. For eye glass wearers. Pretty easy. Just make it look a decent pair of glasses. And for heavens sake, make it SYMMETRICAL! Unlike the Google Glass, with its horrible unsymmetrical design.

    2. For non eye glass wearers: make it look like sunglasses. Most non eyeglass wearers don't mind wearing sunglasses. Problem is what about during the night? They might have to make some type of reverse transition lense that gets more clear when light is more limited.
    You're so right. Just one quibble -- I think both points apply to everyone, and there's no distinction between glasses wearers and non-wearers. 

    Symmetry really is key. Beauty = symmetrical features. 
    Everybody already thinks sunglasses are cool
    People are accustomed to sunglasses that are BIG. 

    So for glasses wearers and non-wearers alike, a symmetrical design that looks like sunglasses is potentially a very good way to go. 

    Having said that... if it were technically feasible to do this with a John Lennon / Steve Jobs glasses design, then sure -- that would be great. But there's no way that's feasible. If nothing else, the battery needs more space than that. 
  • Reply 18 of 24
    grangerfxgrangerfx Posts: 332member
    Will Apple make the same mistake that Oculus did and not offer custom prescription lenses? That would be ironic with all the effort Apple makes to support people with disabilities.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 19 of 24
    brucemcbrucemc Posts: 1,006member
    That AR is more near term than Apple automotive ambitions isn't much of a revelation.  There could be some AR functionality on the new iPhones this year.

    As for AR glasses...it is something I believe will be viable at some point, but am not convinced that 2018 is the year.  There just seems to be so many issues to solve, not the least of which is the "social acceptance" of it.  Style - in the sense that at least a few 10's of millions would consider wearing them - is paramount.  Addressing privacy concerns is next.  Then you get into battery, application response, how to display the information so it is helpful but not distracting, doesn't make the user nauseous, etc.  Just doesn't seem solvable in a year.
    dysamoriapatchythepirate
  • Reply 20 of 24
    MacProMacPro Posts: 16,187member
    ireland said:
    Yeah I don't see it.
    You're not looking right!  ;)
Sign In or Register to comment.