Apple has decided to try it’s hand at making smart glasses. Although the iPhone currently accounts for two-thirds of the company’s revenue, its sales have been slowing down. The company is under intense pressure to deliver new products and despite the recent failure of Google Glass, expanding into wearable technology is considered a lucrative option.
The project is currently still in the exploration phase, but insiders say it has already been discussed with potential suppliers. Small quantities of near-eye displays have apparently been ordered for testing, although not enough to indicate a move toward mass production.
Apple is known for simplifying difficult technology and putting it into the hands of their customers. That approach has helped them develop the fingerprint recognition technology that’s used to unlock their iPhones, as well as the touch screens that are now so common.
The product would be Apple’s first to directly target the AR (augmented reality) market. The company has recently acquired some smaller AR-based companies, presumably with the intention of beefing up their own AR capabilities. They have also acquired patents for various AR applications, including “street view” in their mapping apps.
One of the company’s greatest challenges will be fitting all the needed technology into a sleek set of wearable glasses. In order to reduce the product’s weight, it would have to connect wirelessly to a customer’s iPhone. It should be noted that part of the reason Google’s product did so poorly was because the tiny battery it required ran out too quickly.
Apple’s smart glasses may prove even more difficult to produce than Google’s, since many of the required parts are not currently available. According to sources familiar with the project, if the product does make it to production, it probably won’t be until sometimes in 2018.