Apple Supplier Says Augmented Reality Glasses Could Launch ‘no Later Than 2019’

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Apple’s love for augmented reality (AR) is not a secret, especially with the company launching its ARKit platform to help bolster the technology on its devices.

And rumors regarding the company launching its own pair of smart glasses, which would truly take advantage of real-time AR features, refuse to die down. The latest piece comes from Quanta’s Vice Chairman, C.C. Leung, as reported by Nikkei Asian Review. According to statements made by the executive for a company that has been a key Apple supplier for years, an augmented reality headset could see the light of day “no later than the year 2019.”

According to Leung, the manufacturer has “studied the optical technologies that AR devices have needed” for the last couple of years, and believes that a device is right on the cusp of launch.

“We are working on an AR project and have studied the optical technologies that AR devices have needed since two years ago,” Vice Chairman C.C. Leung told reporters after the Taiwanese manufacturer’s earnings conference. “Currently, we see such a device available in the market no later than the year 2019.”

Leung goes further, saying that the AR glasses will be a “headset-like gadget with a fully transparent lens that allows users to see through and interact with the environment.” This is the idea that Apple has opined on in the past, saying that the difference between AR and virtual reality (VR) is the connection to the world around you, and, more importantly, people. While VR puts a person in a virtual world, with a full headset to offer full immersion, AR allows for the user to still interact with the world while getting a heightened experience.

In most cases, this is best used for games like Niantic’s hugely popular AR-based Pokémon GO, which pits the digital pocket monsters in the real world. And since the public launch of ARKit on iOS devices we’ve seen companies like IKEA help folks design the insides of their house by letting them put digital representations of furniture in their real house without having to buy any actual furniture.

Leung, of course, did not specifically name which company he was referring to, but, as noted in the original report, analysts expect that Leung is referring to Apple and the company’s oft-rumored AR glasses.

This isn’t the first reference to Apple’s AR glasses that a supplier has made, even indirectly. Earlier this month, iPhone supplier Catcher Technology spoke about how comfortable AR glasses need to be, and fashionable, too, to catch on in the market. That manufacturer’s CEO did say that the technology to get that done, to reach the point where they want, is still a ways off, though.

2019 might be the year of Apple’s AR glasses.

Will you buy them?

[via Asia Nikkei Review]