Considering Rumors of Apple AR Glasses with Tim Cook’s Comments on Google Glass

(Silly) Mockup of AR/VR Goggles

Page 2 – It’s about the AR, Stupid, and Apple Will Probably Do This

The Apple Crystal Ball

It’s about the AR, Stupid*

Yet we know Apple has assembled a large augmented/virtual reality team. The Financial Times of London reported in January that Apple had hired “hundreds” of people for this team. The company has also bought several companies in the AR and virtual reality (VR) space.

Those folks are working on something.

More importantly, we know that augmented reality that projects useful information onto our field of vision is freaking awesome. Heads up displays (HUD)—as they are called in the realms of science fiction, military science, and in today’s cars—are super cool amazeballs.

Consider: The name of the person to whom you are speaking. Words to the speech you’re giving. Directions. The name of the song you’re listening to. The lyrics to that song. A movie. The names of restaurants or other businesses around you. Pokémon and infinite other AR games. Weather information. Notifications. Emails. Proximity alerts. Members of secret clubs you also belong to.

And much, much more.

These are all things that are massively useful. Google Glass may or may not have gotten it right, but the need for a HUD is real. The need for a HUD that doesn’t poor even more of my life into Google’s database of me is even more real.

Apple Will Probably Do This

Apple is a company that could do this, and do it right. That AR team was assembled for something. It could have been for a car HUD, sure—that may well be one of the things Apple is working on. But bringing to market AR glasses that get it right will be a very big thing.

Here’s another quote from Mr. Cook on the subject noted by Bloomberg, one that says to me the earlier comments were misdirection.

[Augmented reality] is going to take a while, because there are some really hard technology challenges there, but it will happen in a big way, and we will wonder when it does, how we ever lived without it. Like we wonder how we lived without our phone today.

I agree with that very much.

Apple tries things internally all the time. That’s where many of the “false” rumors originate, from Apple ordering parts and talking to suppliers about products it eventually kills off. It might happen to Apple Car. It could happen to AR glasses.

But this is something I think Apple is very likely to work on very, very hard.

*With apologies to Steve Jobs for riffing on his “It’s about the video, stupid,” when telling us Apple wouldn’t make a video iPod, which itself was a riff of Bill Clinton’s, “It’s about the economy, stupid.”

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