Apple is widely believed to be working on a pair of AR-powered smartglasses, but little is known about the product in terms of concrete details. There may be a reason for that though, since it turns out the company itself hasn’t decided which direction it’s heading in.
As per the Financial Times, Apple isn’t sure about what the best use of AR glasses might be. It only began dipping its toes into AR waters recently with the release of ARKit. The technology is still very much at a nascent phase and the company is as such experimenting with several different kinds of prototypes.
People familiar with the matter claim that there’s one model which moves the cameras, sensors and screens from the smartphone to the face. Another kind goes in the completely opposite direction, featuring 3D cameras but no screens. It would use an iPhone to serve as a hub and main display instead.
The AR smartglasses may just end up becoming something akin to Snapchat’s Spectacles rather than Google Glass or Microsoft HoloLens. The former comes with cameras up front and connects to a smartphone to deliver photos. Apple will probably offer something more than that, as was suggested by a recent patent filing.
Apple’s patent talked about overlaying digital information over a real-world setting for phones and semi-transparent spectacles or glasses. The document specifically discussed using the technology for navigation, helping people find their way by highlighting points of interest such as buildings and landmarks.
In any case, it’s clear the so-called Apple Glasses won’t be ready for the public anytime soon. Previous reports had pinned down a 2018 launch, so we’ll have to wait and see whether that pans out.