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November 15, 2016

Apple mulls AR glasses in possible wearables expansion

The product could hit shelves in 2018.

By CBR Staff Writer

Apple is said to be considering an expansion of its wearable portfolio with the inclusion of AR glass headsets, with the tech giant reportedly already in talks with potential suppliers.

Citing people familiar with the matter, Bloomberg reported that the device, which is still in an exploration phase, would connect wirelessly to iPhones, show images along with other data in the wearer’s field of vision, and could use augmented reality.

The product is anticipated to be introduced in 2018 at the earliest.

Apple CEO Tim Cook, who has been struggling amid slowing sales of the iPhone, said earlier this year that the company would continue to invest a lot into AR.

The report said the company ordered a small number of near-eye displays for testing but has not obtained required components for larger scale production.

The move would make Apple the latest tech firm to move into wearable glasses.

Earlier this year, Alphabet discontinued its own wearable glass headset, Google Glass,

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Google Glass has been discontinued.

Google Glass has been discontinued.

and closed the social media accounts tied to it, including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram.

The headset had received huge criticism and legislative action due to privacy and safety concerns.

Snap, an $18bn company which makes the messaging app Snapchat, recently launched its own video-camera sunglasses.

After the Google Glass disappointment, technology firms have shifted their focus to virtual reality (VR) and away from AR.

Google recently introduced a VR headset alongside its Pixel smartphone, and Facebook’s Oculus VR unit has partnered with Samsung Electronics on a similar headset.

Microsoft HoloLens, known under development as Project Baraboo, is a pair of mixed reality head-mounted smartglasses that shows holographic images in a user’s field of vision.

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