It’s without a doubt that Apple is exploring the possibilities of augmented reality in their technology. Not only are they developing the ARKit – which should make its first appearance in iOS 11.3 – but the tech giant also equipped with iPhone 8, 8 Plus and X with the A11 bionic chip, which essentially enables AR processing. So, with this in mind, it’s only a matter of time until Apple will release their next big product line: AR Glasses.
AR – an acronym for ‘augmented reality’ – is different to VR. Virtual reality glasses, for instance, transport the wearer into a completely different world. Once the goggles or glasses are firmly on the user’s head, physical reality is completely blocked out and replaced with a virtual one. Augmented reality, on the other hand, is all about mixing the two together in an interesting way.
Back in 2017, the Financial Times wrote a post suggesting that Apple was ploughing ahead with their augmented reality efforts, and even went as far to say that it was their most important internal project. Last month, Bloomberg claimed that Apple execs and high-ranking staff attended CES – the International Consumer Electronics Show. Apparently, according to Bloomberg and their evidence, Apple execs even met with suppliers to discuss AR glasses.
It’s no wonder why Apple wants to claim a space in the AR market. The huge success of Niantic’s Pokémon Go showed the world just how exciting and innovative AR could be. Niantic, though, couldn’t sustain their success – the app itself was plagued with technical faults due to the massive number of players flocking to it – and their servers subsequently couldn’t deal with it. Other game-breaking changes forced players to ultimately stop playing and the company really suffered. Apple, on the other hand, could make AR work in a sustainable way. They have the resources and team to keep the project afloat – it’s just a matter of when, not if.
On the subject of release date, it seems we won’t be hearing about the glasses until the end of the year, and, most likely, not until 2019. Apple is currently trying to focus on hardware and making the user experience as good as it can be, therefore pushing new features back.