Apple buys AR headset lens maker Akonia Holographics, fuels 'Apple Glasses' rumors

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Comments

  • Reply 21 of 34
    brucemcbrucemc Posts: 1,527member
    Apple Glasses will be Apple's next "new new" product.  All of their investment in AR is pointing in this direction.  The AR demos you have seen at the last two WWDC's look awesome, but are hindered by having to hold up an iPhone or iPad to experience them, which is a less-than-ideal user experience.  AR with smart glasses will provide a whole new level of experience.  

    Will the market be big?  I believe it will over time.  For a first release (I am thinking 2021...2020 would be pushing it...) expect it would be relatively small.  Maybe sub 10M.  But features and use cases will grow from there.  And that is just the "AR" consideration.  It is possible that Apple could approach it similar to Apple Watch - rethinking the "glasses" experience.  With AW, Apple brought to market the best method for easily & quickly swapping bands, and also brought about "better bands" (better materials, magnetic clasps) - items that had nothing to do with the technology of a smart watch, but were key to the experience.

    Apple Watch + AirPods + Apple Glasses will become (combined) a business that is close to the iPhone...
    randominternetperson
  • Reply 22 of 34
    SoliSoli Posts: 8,748member
    Soli said:
    I have no idea how effective this market will be after Google tainted the tech eyewear market and other AR glasses seem to limited in scope to gaming that I don't think it's a market large enough for Apple to be interested, but I hope they work it out. 
    How can you question whether Apple is "interested" in this market when Tim Cook has been public about Apple's interest in VR/AR for the past few years?  Plus, you know, they just bought a company in that space.  I'm thinking the're interested.
    Maybe you should read my comment again. I made no statement about Apple not being interested in AR.

    PS: Where did you get VR from the article?
    edited August 2018
  • Reply 23 of 34
    AR is pretty cool.

    But no one will pay big money for a set of AR glasses. Even the Apple logo won’t get people to spend $1000 let alone $5000 for a pair shy of a few of the fanboys here perhaps.

    I would think the tech could be used on whatever Apple is doing automotive wise as well.

    i like AR as well as VR. Some AR stuff on the iPhone is cool but a real disconnect is there because of having to hold the phone in front of you. A serious limitation when using for more than a few minutes at a time. A headset would solve it if it were truly affordable.

    color me skeptical.
    dysamoria
  • Reply 24 of 34
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 31,507member
    CobraGuy said:
    AR is pretty cool.

    But no one will pay big money for a set of AR glasses. Even the Apple logo won’t get people to spend $1000 let alone $5000 for a pair shy of a few of the fanboys here perhaps.

    I would think the tech could be used on whatever Apple is doing automotive wise as well.

    i like AR as well as VR. Some AR stuff on the iPhone is cool but a real disconnect is there because of having to hold the phone in front of you. A serious limitation when using for more than a few minutes at a time. A headset would solve it if it were truly affordable.

    color me skeptical.
    I’ve been saying, for a long time, that AR/VR glasses can’t cost more than $300. 
  • Reply 25 of 34
    farmboyfarmboy Posts: 152member
    melgross said:
    these would have to be so compelling that not wearing them would be seen as unusual. I don’t see that happening for a long time. For gaming, sure. But you won’t walk around while gaming with glasses on, at least, I hope not.

    for some specialized uses, I can see it. But that won’t drive the needed volume, which needs to be around 100 million a year for this to be viable. Otherwise costs will be too high. And what about standardization: we can’t have several companies all with their own standards. For console gaming, it sort of works, but even there it’s a problem. VR development is far more complex.
    melgross said:
    I’ve been saying, for a long time, that AR/VR glasses can’t cost more than $300. 
    I agree with you generally, but I'm not so sure that we can use the "Google Glass Paradigm" regarding how acceptable it would be to wear Apple Vision / Apple Specs / Apple Visor in public, non-gaming venues. Nobody looks twice at AirPods, and polychromic lenses are quite refined. More likely that everyone would be curious to try them. Anyhow, we shall see sometime in the next year or two.

    Re: the cost and production volume issues, I figure $699 - $899 is more the target price range. It will sync to your iPhone, and given what the potential uses and features might be, most would not bat an eye at such a purchase. And 100 million units annually is not really a barrier to production. The major expense is in the software and the several years of R&D costs incurred (and the latest acquisition, of course). The other thing is that this has carryover to other products, so the cost per unit is much less.

    To me, the battery is the barrier. Has Apple patented a fanny pack yet?
    randominternetperson
  • Reply 26 of 34
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 31,507member
    farmboy said:
    melgross said:
    these would have to be so compelling that not wearing them would be seen as unusual. I don’t see that happening for a long time. For gaming, sure. But you won’t walk around while gaming with glasses on, at least, I hope not.

    for some specialized uses, I can see it. But that won’t drive the needed volume, which needs to be around 100 million a year for this to be viable. Otherwise costs will be too high. And what about standardization: we can’t have several companies all with their own standards. For console gaming, it sort of works, but even there it’s a problem. VR development is far more complex.
    melgross said:
    I’ve been saying, for a long time, that AR/VR glasses can’t cost more than $300. 
    I agree with you generally, but I'm not so sure that we can use the "Google Glass Paradigm" regarding how acceptable it would be to wear Apple Vision / Apple Specs / Apple Visor in public, non-gaming venues. Nobody looks twice at AirPods, and polychromic lenses are quite refined. More likely that everyone would be curious to try them. Anyhow, we shall see sometime in the next year or two.

    Re: the cost and production volume issues, I figure $699 - $899 is more the target price range. It will sync to your iPhone, and given what the potential uses and features might be, most would not bat an eye at such a purchase. And 100 million units annually is not really a barrier to production. The major expense is in the software and the several years of R&D costs incurred (and the latest acquisition, of course). The other thing is that this has carryover to other products, so the cost per unit is much less.

    To me, the battery is the barrier. Has Apple patented a fanny pack yet?
    Glasses are glasses. Having worn them for most of my almost 69 years, I can attest to that. No matter how cool they may look, they are still a burden to those who don’t normally wear them other than for sunglasses. I think it’s going to be a hard sell for most people. This isn’t anything like AirPods. Covering part of your face is very different than having two small projections from your ears, since it’s not that much different from wired EarPods.

    I'm not arguing what the price may turn out to be. But I will argue that it can’t be more than about $300 for it to be for a viable mass market item. To recover some of the costs over a large number of sales is imperative. R&D will be well over $1 billion over the years the R&D is being done. Then the set-up costs have to be covered. It’s enormous!

    but if the price isn’t low enough, just a few will buy it. We’ve discussed this to death on Ars over the past three years. When I first mentioned the $300 number. Most everyone agreed it was a critical price point.
    dysamoria
  • Reply 27 of 34
    All the objections to these hypothetical Apple AR glasses were raised with prior Apple products.

    The iPod was too expensive to be relevant in the market.
    The iPhone was too expensive to be successful.
    No one wears a watch nowadays, so Apple won't be able to sell people on sticking something on their wrist.
    No one is going to walk around with expensive wireless ear buds in their ears (because they looks stupid, are uncomfortable, and will get you mugged).

    Based on Apple's track record, I'm not going to predict their failure when they haven't even proposed a particular solution.

    But if there's a company who could debut a product that would result in a significant proportion of people wearing an optical AR device as they conduct their daily business, it would be Apple.  (Just because we Apple fans are sheep of course, not because Apple develops compelling products that literally change the world.)
    farmboy
  • Reply 28 of 34
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 30,992member
    melgross said:
    farmboy said:
    melgross said:
    these would have to be so compelling that not wearing them would be seen as unusual. I don’t see that happening for a long time. For gaming, sure. But you won’t walk around while gaming with glasses on, at least, I hope not.

    for some specialized uses, I can see it. But that won’t drive the needed volume, which needs to be around 100 million a year for this to be viable. Otherwise costs will be too high. And what about standardization: we can’t have several companies all with their own standards. For console gaming, it sort of works, but even there it’s a problem. VR development is far more complex.
    melgross said:
    I’ve been saying, for a long time, that AR/VR glasses can’t cost more than $300. 
    I agree with you generally, but I'm not so sure that we can use the "Google Glass Paradigm" regarding how acceptable it would be to wear Apple Vision / Apple Specs / Apple Visor in public, non-gaming venues. Nobody looks twice at AirPods, and polychromic lenses are quite refined. More likely that everyone would be curious to try them. Anyhow, we shall see sometime in the next year or two.

    Re: the cost and production volume issues, I figure $699 - $899 is more the target price range. It will sync to your iPhone, and given what the potential uses and features might be, most would not bat an eye at such a purchase. And 100 million units annually is not really a barrier to production. The major expense is in the software and the several years of R&D costs incurred (and the latest acquisition, of course). The other thing is that this has carryover to other products, so the cost per unit is much less.

    To me, the battery is the barrier. Has Apple patented a fanny pack yet?
    Glasses are glasses. Having worn them for most of my almost 69 years, I can attest to that. No matter how cool they may look, they are still a burden to those who don’t normally wear them other than for sunglasses. I think it’s going to be a hard sell for most people. This isn’t anything like AirPods. Covering part of your face is very different than having two small projections from your ears, since it’s not that much different from wired EarPods.

    I'm not arguing what the price may turn out to be. But I will argue that it can’t be more than about $300 for it to be for a viable mass market item. To recover some of the costs over a large number of sales is imperative. R&D will be well over $1 billion over the years the R&D is being done. Then the set-up costs have to be covered. It’s enormous!

    but if the price isn’t low enough, just a few will buy it. We’ve discussed this to death on Ars over the past three years. When I first mentioned the $300 number. Most everyone agreed it was a critical price point.
    $300 is a decent guess, however AR is all about perceived value. (A) What’s it worth relative to other products in the VR or AR space and (B) what does a product like this actually do for a user? If it’s a 2x or 5x or 10x better solution to a problem, then it could potentially be worth much, much more to the customer.

    Who knew people wanted or needed a $1,000+ cell phone/computer until Apple decided to sell one?
    edited August 2018
  • Reply 29 of 34
    farmboyfarmboy Posts: 152member
     melgross said:
    Glasses are glasses. Having worn them for most of my almost 69 years, I can attest to that. No matter how cool they may look, they are still a burden to those who don’t normally wear them other than for sunglasses. I think it’s going to be a hard sell for most people. This isn’t anything like AirPods. Covering part of your face is very different than having two small projections from your ears, since it’s not that much different from wired EarPods.

    I'm not arguing what the price may turn out to be. But I will argue that it can’t be more than about $300 for it to be for a viable mass market item. To recover some of the costs over a large number of sales is imperative. R&D will be well over $1 billion over the years the R&D is being done. Then the set-up costs have to be covered. It’s enormous!

    but if the price isn’t low enough, just a few will buy it. We’ve discussed this to death on Ars over the past three years. When I first mentioned the $300 number. Most everyone agreed it was a critical price point.

    I'm enjoying about my fourth year of "Second Sight", where my lenses have deformed slightly in the aging process to actually improve my vision to the point that I don't need my specs anymore for distance or reading. No cataract development. I also take a good vitamin supplement for vision (carotenoids, lutein, B1, omegas, C, zinc, etc. Vitacost Eye Defense). Anecdotal results to be sure, but it's great, for as long as it will last.

    $300 for a watch is not a deal breaker, in spite of all the "it's too expensive it'll never sell" learned opinions, and this product has the potential to be much, much more than the Apple Watch, don't you think? I'll stick with my estimates.
  • Reply 30 of 34
    mcdavemcdave Posts: 1,124member
    Soli said:
    I have no idea how effective this market will be after Google tainted the tech eyewear market and other AR glasses seem to limited in scope to gaming that I don't think it's a market large enough for Apple to be interested, but I hope they work it out. Additionally, I hope their product can put a major hurt on the Luxottica monopoly.

    edit: For those not familiar with Luxottica's control of the eyewear market...


    So ‘Your choice...of Their options’ doesn’t fly in America these days?  It only took 242 years to work the veiled dictatorship method out. maybe it’s time for another revolution?

    Back on topic.  I think AR has way more legs than VR, the concern I have is; Apple only gave us Graphical & Touch UIs under Steve Jobs, AR is a UI tech that’s  way harder, can they do it without his ability to say “no”?
  • Reply 31 of 34
    mcdavemcdave Posts: 1,124member
    Soli said:
    I have no idea how effective this market will be after Google tainted the wearable eyewear market and other AR glasses seem to limited in scope to gaming that I don't think it's a market large enough for Apple to be interested, but I hope they work it out. Additionally, I hope their product can put a major hurt on the Luxottica monopoly.
    I agree! But I am more inclined to think that googles failure was based a lot on timing (people not ready for this type of tech), and the poor integration of the technology (as it is obvious that you are wearing something different). With this tech it may well be possible that they look just like ordinary glasses. Which brings me to applauding your luxottica comment. I for one would have no problem paying just a wee bit more for glasses with this capability than the plastic shaped sunglasses that I am currently sporting right now!
    Current overpricing of ‘dumb’ glasses could play to Apple’s advantage when introducing smart ones.  Far harder to introduce $800 smart glasses if regular ones are $40 instead of $3-400.
  • Reply 32 of 34
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 31,507member
    farmboy said:
     melgross said:
    Glasses are glasses. Having worn them for most of my almost 69 years, I can attest to that. No matter how cool they may look, they are still a burden to those who don’t normally wear them other than for sunglasses. I think it’s going to be a hard sell for most people. This isn’t anything like AirPods. Covering part of your face is very different than having two small projections from your ears, since it’s not that much different from wired EarPods.

    I'm not arguing what the price may turn out to be. But I will argue that it can’t be more than about $300 for it to be for a viable mass market item. To recover some of the costs over a large number of sales is imperative. R&D will be well over $1 billion over the years the R&D is being done. Then the set-up costs have to be covered. It’s enormous!

    but if the price isn’t low enough, just a few will buy it. We’ve discussed this to death on Ars over the past three years. When I first mentioned the $300 number. Most everyone agreed it was a critical price point.

    I'm enjoying about my fourth year of "Second Sight", where my lenses have deformed slightly in the aging process to actually improve my vision to the point that I don't need my specs anymore for distance or reading. No cataract development. I also take a good vitamin supplement for vision (carotenoids, lutein, B1, omegas, C, zinc, etc. Vitacost Eye Defense). Anecdotal results to be sure, but it's great, for as long as it will last.

    $300 for a watch is not a deal breaker, in spite of all the "it's too expensive it'll never sell" learned opinions, and this product has the potential to be much, much more than the Apple Watch, don't you think? I'll stick with my estimates.
    Potential isn’t product. As I said, some day this might prove useful enough for many people to want it. Until then, we’ll see game devices instead. That will be good, once they get it right, which no one has so far. It will improve the technology, and bring the price down. There’s a good reason why the rumors of this device from Apple say two to three years from now.
  • Reply 33 of 34
    dysamoriadysamoria Posts: 2,053member
    All the objections to these hypothetical Apple AR glasses were raised with prior Apple products.

    The iPod was too expensive to be relevant in the market.
    The iPhone was too expensive to be successful.
    No one wears a watch nowadays, so Apple won't be able to sell people on sticking something on their wrist.
    No one is going to walk around with expensive wireless ear buds in their ears (because they looks stupid, are uncomfortable, and will get you mugged).

    Based on Apple's track record, I'm not going to predict their failure when they haven't even proposed a particular solution.

    But if there's a company who could debut a product that would result in a significant proportion of people wearing an optical AR device as they conduct their daily business, it would be Apple.  (Just because we Apple fans are sheep of course, not because Apple develops compelling products that literally change the world.)
    All of those products solved problems that people have with existing versions of said products. AR glasses will solve... what?

    i suspect that, like with Google Glass, it'll result in hostility toward anyone wearing whatever the ultimate Apple-on-your-face product is, as well as any sunglasses that look similar to it. Partially because of Google Glass, but also partially because society doesn't tolerate this level of intrusive tech just yet. Tech companies will keep pushing at it, and, eventually, culture will be pushed to accept it, just like it has for the unbearable marketing we suffer today (I wish my state would ban billboards; especially digital ones).
    Soli
  • Reply 34 of 34
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 31,507member
    dysamoria said:
    All the objections to these hypothetical Apple AR glasses were raised with prior Apple products.

    The iPod was too expensive to be relevant in the market.
    The iPhone was too expensive to be successful.
    No one wears a watch nowadays, so Apple won't be able to sell people on sticking something on their wrist.
    No one is going to walk around with expensive wireless ear buds in their ears (because they looks stupid, are uncomfortable, and will get you mugged).

    Based on Apple's track record, I'm not going to predict their failure when they haven't even proposed a particular solution.

    But if there's a company who could debut a product that would result in a significant proportion of people wearing an optical AR device as they conduct their daily business, it would be Apple.  (Just because we Apple fans are sheep of course, not because Apple develops compelling products that literally change the world.)
    All of those products solved problems that people have with existing versions of said products. AR glasses will solve... what?

    i suspect that, like with Google Glass, it'll result in hostility toward anyone wearing whatever the ultimate Apple-on-your-face product is, as well as any sunglasses that look similar to it. Partially because of Google Glass, but also partially because society doesn't tolerate this level of intrusive tech just yet. Tech companies will keep pushing at it, and, eventually, culture will be pushed to accept it, just like it has for the unbearable marketing we suffer today (I wish my state would ban billboards; especially digital ones).
    I agree. I have a lot of people in my home from meetings, get togethers and a couple of big holiday parties. Everyone knows that if they show up with something that can record, upload, or somehow send audio, and/or video somewhere, or store it on the device without people knowing, they will be required to remove such an item from their person before entering.

    i know that some say that a phone can do that too, but it’s very difficult to do it with a phone without suspicion being raised. And we know that almost as soon as Google Glass was announced, there appeared in the google Play store, apps to prevent the record light from turning on when recording.

    apple, and others, will have to figure out a way to assure people that not only won’t this happen, but it will be impossible for it to happen. Otherwise, society as a whole will need to truly believe that privacy is no longer of any importance. I just read a good article in The NY Times about how China, as a superpower, will be very different from us. A photo at the head of the article had a crowd of people walking in the street there, each with a number floating above their head. The vast majority Chinese don’t care about the lack of privacy, with many thinking that privacy is equivalent to opposition to the party, and the emerging society as a whole.

    if we get to that space as well, then these products will take off the way they have in a number of science fiction novels, where almost everyone has much more advanced models, except for the “lower classes”, who live in a deprived, and neglected state.
    edited September 2018 SpamSandwich
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