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Apple worked on Google Glass-like device, decided it wasn't worth it

post #1 of 38
Thread Starter 
Tony Fadell, the ex-Apple executive who helmed the company's iPod engineering group, has revealed that his old employer prototyped augmented reality headgear, but ultimately chose not to pursue the technology.

12.05.25-Nest.jpg

Tony Fadell says Apple worked on augmented reality devices. | Source: Nest Labs


The devices were described by Fadell in an interview with Fast Company's Co.Design blog as "visors" that make the wearer feel as though they are "sitting in a theater." He went on to imply that the prototypes were successful, but Apple chose not to go forward with them because the company had its hands full with other projects

"We had such success with the things we were already doing that we didn?t have time," Fadell said.

In addition to the augmented reality devices, Fadell revealed that Apple also experimented with new renditions of older technology like video cameras and remote controls. While the company has not released any of these rumored devices as standalone products, it is possible that lessons learned from the experiments have been helpful as Apple developed new technologies like the iPhone's video capture system and Apple TV's remote control.

Glass


Fadell is known as the "father of the iPod" and served as a senior executive at Apple from 2001 through 2008, first as the head of the iPod & Special Projects group and later as senior vice president of the iPod division. He is currently CEO of Nest, a manufacturer of connected thermostats, which he cofounded with former Apple colleagues.

In recent years, Fadell has been somewhat candid about his time at Apple and his thoughts on the company as it exists today. Last year, after iOS chief Scott Forstall was ousted from Apple, Fadell said he felt Forstall "got what he deserved."

Though he no longer works at Apple, Fadell has a continuing relationship with the company, as his Nest thermostats are sold in the company's retail stores.
post #2 of 38

Of course it wasn't! Oh, that's great. All this pre-keynote news is wonderful.

post #3 of 38
I'm glad Apple decided to not pursue the Glass type design, they would have been the laughing stock if they did. I still can't figure out what the big deal is with Google Glass, I think it's a joke. I'm sure it might make some money, but I wouldn't buy the product. I think it's too dumb and not something I want to be seen using. there are enough distractions as is.
post #4 of 38

I like this part from Gadi Amit:

Quote:
 The guy next to me was working on NeXT for Steve Jobs. I saw three identical mice on his desk, and I couldn't tell the difference between them, so I asked. He said, "Can't you see?" And he pointed to the bottom plate of the mouse. One was 1 millimeter thick, one was 1.5 millimeters, the other 2 millimeters. And then I saw the difference--and it transformed my worldview about details in design.
post #5 of 38
And this is Apple's strength; they're proud ogf the products they didn't release.
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post #6 of 38
Hmm...I take this with a grain of salt. Note, Fadell didn't say Apple was working on something, he said he built a prototype. Did Fadell have some secret team in the iPod division that was working on these prototypes? And really, they didn't build it because they didn't have time? Somehow I'm a bit skeptical about his claim.
post #7 of 38
Of course, they did. Otherwise, how the heck google came up with their own?

As always, Apple does it first ... google, samsung and the rest run to their copy machines department.

....the lack of properly optimized apps is one of the reasons "why the experience on Android tablets is so crappy".

Tim Cook ~ The Wall Street Journal - February 7, 2014

Inside Google! 

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....the lack of properly optimized apps is one of the reasons "why the experience on Android tablets is so crappy".

Tim Cook ~ The Wall Street Journal - February 7, 2014

Inside Google! 

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post #8 of 38

Now we know where Google copied the Google Glass concept from.  

post #9 of 38
"It's easier to say Yes and throw a beta tag on it, then it is to say No and not have a we're-first product to brag about." - excerpt from The Google Way, a fictitious book by Sir Gay Bryn
post #10 of 38
Originally Posted by macinthe408 View Post
"It's easier to say Yes and throw a beta tag on it, then it is to say No and not have a we're-first product to brag about." - excerpt from The Google Way, a fictitious book by Sir Gay Bryn

 

"There are a thousand betas for every 'yes'."

post #11 of 38

iVisor

post #12 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by kharvel View Post
 

Now we know where Google copied the Google Glass concept from.  

 

Another product concept taken from Apple when Eric Schmidt was on Apple's board

post #13 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by macinthe408 View Post

"It's easier to say Yes and throw a beta tag on it, then it is to say No and not have a we're-first product to brag about." - excerpt from The Google Way, a fictitious book by Sir Gay Bryn

 

vs laser focus and doing those things you do really well, which SJ tried to impart to other tech company founders. How many have followed his advice?

post #14 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by drblank View Post

I'm glad Apple decided to not pursue the Glass type design, they would have been the laughing stock if they did. I still can't figure out what the big deal is with Google Glass, I think it's a joke. I'm sure it might make some money, but I wouldn't buy the product. I think it's too dumb and not something I want to be seen using. there are enough distractions as is.

 

Personally I disagree (about Google Glass). I don't own one, but if it (or similar products) get cheap enough I'll own one for photo and video capturing alone. There are plenty of times where I will see something that would be a great photo or video and by the time I pull out my iPhone the moment is gone. Just being able to wink or whatever and get the shot would be great.

post #15 of 38
I'll be surprised if Apple didn't submit a patent application for any of them. I wonder if Geordi Laforge is listed anywhere.

And here ya go. (Can't do this with a Bing search 1wink.gif )

https://www.google.com/patents/WO2008046075A9

https://www.google.com/patents/US8212859

Konica Minolta actually applied for a patent on an implementation that actually is somewhat similar to Google Glass IMO, and predating Tony Fadell's submissions. I believe Apple references them as a matter of fact.
https://www.google.com/patents/US20060120247

Interesting stuff, particularly another Apple patent submission in 2012 for a concept device along the same lines as Google Glass but trying to claim a priority date for Fadell's old 2006 patent app. Hmmmm. . .
Edited by Gatorguy - 9/10/13 at 9:43am
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post #16 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by drblank View Post

I'm glad Apple decided to not pursue the Glass type design, they would have been the laughing stock if they did. I still can't figure out what the big deal is with Google Glass, I think it's a joke. I'm sure it might make some money, but I wouldn't buy the product. I think it's too dumb and not something I want to be seen using. there are enough distractions as is.

 

Of course it can be perceived as a laughable product but it is more about the first iteration of a concept than it is about the current design. Whether it is smart contact lenses, watches or more regular looking smart glasses, the wearable and integrated wear shall become more and more ubiquitous.

post #17 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by drblank View Post

I'm glad Apple decided to not pursue the Glass type design, they would have been the laughing stock if they did.

 

But Apple WAS the laughing stock when they released the iPod, the iPhone, the iPad. Don't you remember? It was all over the tech media. The laughing and snickering was loud and vocal. Steve Ballmer had a big belly laugh over the iPhone. There's even a video of it.

 

Apple is used to being the laughing stock of the tech world. Happens every time they release a product. Just watch today's event and you'll see.

post #18 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by OriginalG View Post

 

Another product concept taken from Apple when Eric Schmidt was on Apple's board

 




Google earns money from publicity.
Publcity stunts is on Google´s blood, i am sure Google knows as much as Apple thjat it does not worth it physicaly as a product.

I wonder if The BBC, The Guardian or The HuffingtonPost will post this.
post #19 of 38

What?  Apple didn't see the value in making people look like morons walking around with shit stuck to their face? Say it isn't so.

post #20 of 38

Yeah, much better to work on iPhone 4 v4.0 (aka iPhone 5S) than something new.

 

Not an Apple hater... just want a darn 5" iPhone... dang it!

 

... And frustrated.

post #21 of 38
Originally Posted by Brian Ward View Post
Yeah, much better to work on iPhone 4 v4.0 (aka iPhone 5S) than something new.

 

Shh. No lies, only dreams now.

post #22 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian Ward View Post

Yeah, much better to work on iPhone 4 v4.0 (aka iPhone 5S) than something new.



 



Not an Apple hater... just want a darn 5" iPhone... dang it!



 



... And frustrated.


 



No need to be frustrated.
There are HUGE possibilities out there.
Unless you have someting against Android.
post #23 of 38

I actually saw a guy walking down the street wearing Google Glass the other day.  I felt embarrassed for him.  It just seemed so wrong.  But then I had to wonder... will this feel common and ordinary in a decade or two?

post #24 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

I'll be surprised if Apple didn't submit a patent application for any of them. I wonder if Geordi Laforge is listed anywhere.

And here ya go. (Can't do this with a Bing search 1wink.gif )

https://www.google.com/patents/WO2008046075A9

https://www.google.com/patents/US8212859

Konica Minolta actually applied for a patent on an implementation that actually is somewhat similar to Google Glass IMO, and predating Tony Fadell's submissions. I believe Apple references them as a matter of fact.
https://www.google.com/patents/US20060120247

Interesting stuff, particularly another Apple patent submission in 2012 for a concept device along the same lines as Google Glass but trying to claim a priority date for Fadell's old 2006 patent app. Hmmmm. . .

 

Not quite sure what you're implying here.

 

The filing date for the first patent (US8212859) is October 13, 2006

The second patent has a priority date of October 13, 2006.

 

So what's wrong with setting the priority date of the second patent to the filing date of the first?

post #25 of 38

right, just like they did not once think that there was a need for a 7 inch tablet, or a phone with a 4inch and larger screen, or a phone with a stylus like the Note... Oh wait, they actually popular now.

 

But hey, lets all wait for the Candy color iPhone and iOS - now we talking!

 

The dumbing down of Apple by iOS (and the people it brought with it into the community) is just mind bending.

post #26 of 38
Originally Posted by agramonte View Post

The dumbing down of Apple by iOS (and the people it brought with it into the community) is just mind bending.

 

Shut up and go away.

post #27 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnSmithSon View Post

iVisor

Actually, Apple made two prototypes.

The Consumer verson:

"iEye"

...and the Military version:

"iEye Captain"
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post #28 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ursadorable View Post
 

What?  Apple didn't see the value in making people look like morons walking around with shit stuck to their face? Say it isn't so.

 

You mean morons like this? :lol:

post #29 of 38
Originally Posted by malta View Post

You mean morons like this? :lol:

 

Take the hand away; what happens?

post #30 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by malta View Post

 

You mean morons like this? " src="http://forums-files.appleinsider.com/images/smilies//lol.gif">

 




So, a Google boss said a moronic thing and you fall for it?

Do not forget, you need at least one of your hands to put that thing on your face. Does that action makes you a moron?
AH!
post #31 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rayz View Post

Not quite sure what you're implying here.

The filing date for the first patent (US8212859) is October 13, 2006
The second patent has a priority date of October 13, 2006.

So what's wrong with setting the priority date of the second patent to the filing date of the first?

An individual can stake a claim to an earlier priority date for another of their own previous patent apps if that's what you're asking. It's only a filers statement not a legal conclusion.
Edited by Gatorguy - 9/10/13 at 11:56am
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post #32 of 38
Of course they didnt release it, they were too busy deciding on colors for the new phones. Cook is a joke, so now what? A refreshed Mac and iPad sometime in the next couple months and see you in the Fall of 2014?
post #33 of 38
Originally Posted by tkell31 View Post
Cook is a joke, so now what?

 

Now you hush.

post #34 of 38
He was there 4-5 years ago. At that time they didn't move forward. Perhaps because the tech wasn't as 'there' as jobs wanted.

Who knows about now

A non tech's thoughts on Apple stuff 

(She's family so I'm a little biased)

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A non tech's thoughts on Apple stuff 

(She's family so I'm a little biased)

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post #35 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by brutus009 View Post

I actually saw a guy walking down the street wearing Google Glass the other day.  I felt embarrassed for him.  It just seemed so wrong.  But then I had to wonder... will this feel common and ordinary in a decade or two?

You're correct when you say "it just seemed so wrong."

Google Glass uses one eye only. It is a fiendishly asymmetric deployment of "eyewear." Like an eyepatch, it takes over the face for others looking at you. Others can't help it because we are all wired for two-eyed symmetry between ourselves and others, from birth, at the most basic neurological level.

Wiring at this most basic level is being flaunted, characteristically, by the schizoid left-brainers at Google.

AI is badly misinterpreting what Fadell is saying. He was talking about a two-eyed "visor" (bad choice of word there, Tony) that you wore sitting still, not out in the world like an "augmented reality" heads-up display. A wearable video screen or screens (for stereo 3D) is what Apple has been working on. They have two-lensed eyewear patents, which Gatorguy has obscured, also characteristically, with his usual diversionaries.

Fadell does not say anything like it wasn't worth it. He says they didn't have time, and there were other things to be focusing on, like iPhones and iPads. Apple was a small and strained company then, and I think they still are now. I personally think they are still going to do something in this area. They'd be crazy not to. But it won't be anything like the crime against nature that is Google Glass.
post #36 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by tkell31 View Post

Cook is a joke . . .

And you're not?
post #37 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by PhilBoogie View Post

And this is Apple's strength; they're proud ogf the products they didn't release.

 

Xerox is proud of the products they didn't release, too. But they are not proud of the fact that they didn't release them.

post #38 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by macinthe408 View Post

"It's easier to say Yes and throw a beta tag on it, then it is to say No and not have a we're-first product to brag about." - excerpt from The Google Way, a fictitious book by Sir Gay Bryn


Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Quote:
You mean morons like this? 
" src="http://forums-files.appleinsider.com/images/smilies//lol.gif" style="line-height:1.4em;">

Take the hand away; what happens?

Then you're holding it wrong ¡
Quote:
Originally Posted by StruckPaper View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by PhilBoogie View Post

And this is Apple's strength; they're proud ogf the products they didn't release.

Xerox is proud of the products they didn't release, too. But they are not proud of the fact that they didn't release them.

Good one!
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