Google failed to turn Google Glass into a viable mainstream product, but Apple thinks it knows something the search giant doesn’t — based on a new report claiming that Apple is exploring a similar foray into “digital glasses.”
Citing people familiar with the matter, the report describes a device that — like the Apple Watch — would connect wirelessly to iPhones as a glorified accessory.
It would reportedly display information and images for customers, and may represent Apple’s push into augmented reality, which Tim Cook has previously said was an area of interest.
Apple has allegedly spoken with potential suppliers, and has ordered small quantities of near-eye displays from one such supplier. Should the concept go ahead, it will not be until 2018 at the earliest, however — and Apple is nowhere near to the mass production stage.
To augment or not to augment
While today’s report is intriguing, it is premature to suggest that this is something Apple will definitely be releasing. For years, the company has filed patents for technology which would fit a head-up display, although it has not yet released anything in this area.
Recently, Apple analyst Ming Chi Kuo suggested that Apple could enjoy a 3-to-5-year lead over competitors by redefining augmented reality experiences on the iPhone, iPad and Mac.
At present, it seems like Apple is weighing up a number of ideas, based on tweaking concepts which have gained either buzz or sales from other companies.
For example, earlier this year we heard that Apple plans to take on the Amazon Echo with a standalone Siri device, similar to the Amazon Echo — although with the added benefit of facial recognition. Apple has also reportedly been heavily involved with researching a possible Apple Car, although plans in this area now seem to be being scaled back.
Personally, of these three projects I think the most feasible one would be a standalone Siri device, since this has already been proven to have a market thanks to the Amazon Echo.
Apple could absolutely develop a Google Glass display more stylish than the one Google was able to dream up, but I’m unsure that such a technology is going to find success with the public just yet — for reasons both technological and social.
Do you think an Apple-built Google Glass-style device would be a good move on Apple’s part? Leave your comments below.