Bloomberg reports that Apple is reportedly considering launching a pair of smart glasses. The report cites information gathered from people familiar with the matter, and it says that Apple is still in the “exploration phase” of the idea, which means if the company is indeed working on it, it’s still in the early days of the long process.
The glasses would connect wirelessly to iPhones, and project images and other information into the wearer’s field of vision. Sources say it’s possible that they could utilize augmented reality, and it seems likely given Apple’s public interest in the tech.
Apple has talked about its glasses project with potential suppliers, according to people familiar with those discussions. The company has ordered small quantities of near-eye displays from one supplier for testing, the people said. Apple hasn’t ordered enough components so far to indicate imminent mass-production, one of the people added.
Should Apple ultimately decide to proceed with the device, it would be introduced in 2018 at the earliest, another person said. The Cupertino, California-based company tests many different products and is known to pivot, pause, or cancel projects without disclosing them. Apple spokeswoman Trudy Muller declined to comment.
It is not clear how Apple would overcome the privacy and safety issues that Google faced, nor if the project will progress, but Apple CEO Tim Cook has expressed Apple’s deep interest in augmented reality multiple times over the last few months, suggesting something big is in the works. “AR can be really great,” he said in July. “We have been and continue to invest a lot in this. We’re high on AR in the long run.”