With the Apple iPhone struggling like it never has done before, does the tech giant have anything up its sleeve to be its next big thing? For years, there have been rumors that the company is working on AR smartglasses that at least one analyst expects to be bigger than the iPhone
. We could see such a product launch as early as next year. The pressure is on Apple to deliver something spectacular, and that shows up in a report written by research firm Digi-Capital
along with Augmented World Expo (AWE).
Spotted by ZDNet
, the report already has Apple as the third most recognized manufacturer of AR headsets with Microsoft HoloLens and Magic Leap numbers one and two, respectively. Not bad for a product that has yet to show up anywhere. And the "potential Apple smartglasses" even topped the real and available Google Glass Enterprise Edition, which recently was refreshed and updated. The data was collected by surveying 776 people, who were allowed to name more than one brand. 77% named the HoloLens, 67% mentioned MagicLeap and the upcoming Apple Glasses was tagged by 43% of the respondents. The Google Glass Enterprise Edition was named by 35% of the 776 people surveyed.
According to the report, Apple will offer its smartglasses to the enterprise first. The report also says that it isn't clear whether Apple will deliver a device "tethered" to the iPhone, or one able to work independently. However, earlier this year reliable TF International analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said that Apple's first pair of smartglasses will need to pair with an iPhone
; the handset will provide the processing power for the glasses. Digi-Capital notes that while early adopters might buy "several tens of millions" of these glasses by 2023, it will be several years after that before the device will be seen as a smartphone replacement by the majority of the public.
"If Apple smartglasses launch as a premium smartphone peripheral, not everyone is happy to pay for or carry two devices (e.g. Apple Watch). Apple could still sell several tens of millions of "Apple Glasses" to early-adopter consumers by 2023, which might also drive bring-your-own-device enterprise demand. Standalone smartglasses as a mass-consumer smartphone replacement look further out."-Digi-Capital
Google Glass wearer ends up questioned for three hours after getting tossed out of a movie theater
Apple is third in smartglasses even though it does not yet have such a device
Back in April 2014, Google introduced what was then called "Project Glass"
by releasing a video showing what life would be like using the AR glasses. The problem with the clip was that while Google titled it "One Day," the majority of the public thought that the product was ready to do all of the things that Google showed in the video. And then there were the issues with privacy; several bars banned the AR glasses
because they could take pictures on the sly. One Google Glass wearer was minding his own business and enjoying a movie when all of a sudden he was taken out of the theater by a federal agent
and surrounded by 10 cops. He was questioned for three hours because the agent was concerned that the Glass wearer was filming the movie while wearing the connected specs. You might ask why someone would be wearing Google Glass inside a movie theater, and the answer makes sense. These were the prescription version of Glass and he needed to wear them to view the movie clearly. And he also had disabled the internet connection in advance, just in case.
Will Apple Glasses suffer from the same fate? At the time, the public wasn't too familiar with the concept of Augmented Reality. Now, many smartphones offer AR features and Google has just launched an AR version of Maps for pedestrians. By the time Apple Glasses are ready for public consumption, they will no doubt be welcomed with open arms. Apple has reportedly developed a new operating system for the device called rOS (the "r" stands for Reality).