Apple has been dabbling with augmented reality (AR) for quite some time and it seems it is finally in the process of making a smartglass that deploys the technology.
Tech evangelist Robert Scoble had earlier claimed in a Facebook post that the next big Apple product would be an AR headset, which the company is reportedly manufacturing in tandem with Carl Zeiss.
In the "This Week in Tech Show" held on Feb. 5, Scoble said that his prediction regarding the AR smartglass is based on information procured from "the highest level" of Apple administration.
Apple has previously skipped the VR headsets race as the company's CEO Tim Cook prefers AR over VR.
"We are high on AR for the long run. We think there's great things for customers and a great commercial opportunity. So we're investing," said Cook in 2016
Prediction Of Analysts
Even though Apple has kept mum on this prediction and not divulged much information about the AR device, rumors suggest that consumers could expect the smartglass to be unveiled in summer 2017 along with the iPhone 8. However, the chances of the launch of the AR device being pushed back to 2018 cannot be ruled out either.
Well-known KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo had predicted that Apple would be coming up with an AR system and that it would debut in at least two years. The latest forecast from Scoble reaffirms his prediction.
With VR One Plus, which lets the user's smartphone get converted to a VR or AR system, Zeiss has already brought some of the best headsets into the market.
Rumors have suggested that Apple is making slow inroads into VR. This is because its CEO is more inclined to VR, which is why the company initially bypassed the AR bandwagon.
Cook has previously asserted that AI and AR will be impacting the company's future immensely in the long run.
Analysts like Scobel expect the AR glasses to be light weight. The smart glasses would most probably offer pairing support with other Apple devices like the iPhone or Apple Watch.
The company is reportedly testing both AR and VR possibilities in a heads-up display that has Siri integration.
With reports suggesting that Cook is highly interested in Apple's AR projects, the company's interest is evidenced by the fact that it is looking to groom an in-house AR team. Apple has made this clear through its strategic hires, as well as purchases of companies like Perceptio, Faceshift and German AR company Metaio.
It remains to be seen if the AR smart glasses from Apple make an appearance alongside the iPhone 8 as forecasted.
Photo: Jason Ralston | Flickr