A new report brings back the speculation that Apple is working on a pair of augmented reality glasses, and paints Facebook as a direct competitor.
According to the Financial Times (note: this article is behind a paywall), Apple and Facebook have stepped up their efforts to develop augmented reality glasses. Previously, Apple’s AR efforts were linked to the iPhone, and Facebook seemed occupied with the virtual reality capabilities of Oculus. Now, both tech giants are eager to create an AR wearable, according to the report.
But don’t hold your breath. Even though Apple is rumored to have been working on AR glasses for over a year, they won’t arrive until at least 2018, the Financial Times reports. Meanwhile, Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg has stated that his vision for AR glasses could take up to ten years to perfect.
“The goal is to make VR and AR what we all want it to be: glasses small enough to take anywhere, software that lets you experience anything, and technology that lets you interact with the virtual world just like you do with the physical one,” Zuckerberg wrote on Facebook in February after visiting the Oculus research lab.
Why this matters: Apple and Facebook certainly aren’t the only tech companies interested in dominating the future of augmented reality. Microsoft seems way ahead in this department, given that a developer version of HoloLens has been available for a year. Not to mention, Snapchat’s parent company, Snap, could integrate AR capabilities in the next version of Spectacles.
There are also a few startups getting into the space. Both Magic Leap and Meta are expected to unveil their take on AR glasses this year. Magic Leap has received funding from Google, and Meta once had an advisor in Mike Rockwell, who is now the head of Apple’s AR projects.