The augmented reality field is still growing, and companies like Facebook, Google, Microsoft, and others are vying for the first real consumer-ready product.
Apple is a company that has not been shy about talking about the virtues of augmented reality. Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO, has said multiple times that AR will change things for the better, by allowing people to still use their devices, and yet not disconnect from the people around them if they don’t want to. Cook has even said that AR will make our smartphones even more essential.
With the Consumer Electronics Show taking place over the course of this week in Las Vegas, Nevada, augmented reality was certainly a technology on display. Apple, meanwhile, is not a company that takes time out of its busy schedule to display anything on the showroom floor. Of course, you can find accessories for Apple products galore, but Apple proper is typically not present.
This year, Apple was working behind-the-scenes, according to a report from Bloomberg. The company sent folks to Las Vegas to speak to a variety of different manufacturers connected to the AR market, all in an effort to figure out the company’s oft-rumored augmented reality headset/glasses:
“During CES, representatives from major players like Apple, Facebook, and Google met with suppliers that make the nuts and bolts required to power AR glasses, according to people familiar with the meetings. Smaller firms like Snap and China’s Xiaomi also met with potential partners at the show, indicating a desire to build their own AR headsets. Behind the scenes, Samsung and LG have already placed small orders of AR components to start prototyping devices.”
As it stands right now, the latest rumor suggested that Apple would launch its AR glasses “no later than 2019,” but Tim Cook has technically gone on record saying that the technology to do “quality” AR glasses simply doesn’t exist yet. That doesn’t mean it won’t be ready to go by 2019, or later, though.
This isn’t too surprising. While Apple doesn’t announce anything at CES, that doesn’t mean it doesn’t have people from the company walking the showroom floor looking for something it believes could help them in the long run. Apple isn’t shy about acquiring companies, after all. It certainly sounds like Apple is building some kind of AR headset, and it will be interesting to see what that turns into in the future.