Apple’s AR glasses could still be another year away

We could be waiting another year at least for Apple to lift the lid on its heavily-rumoured AR glasses project, if a report by the Financial Times is to be believed.

The Monday edition of the FT reported that “people with knowledge of its efforts” say that Apple is stepping up its AR eyewear game, but that “any launch is still at least a year away, perhaps much longer”.

Speculative buzz around Apple’s AR efforts began back in March 2015, when analyst and Apple expert Piper Jaffray issued a note that suggested Apple had a small group of researchers exploring augmented reality technology.

The FT confirmed on Monday that Apple’s rumoured dream team did indeed exist, and has been working on a mystery AR product, with the aim of “taking it from a science project towards a consumer product”.

Before now, we’ve only had a series of rumours and a few small morsels of evidence to cling onto – the most promising of which was in January this year, when two Apple patent filings were granted for a mobile AR system that can recognise its surroundings.

Apple has remained typically silent on the topic of a possible pair of AR glasses in the works, but CEO Tim Cook has dropped plenty of indirect hints that the specs are firmly within sight.

Speaking about AR to the Independent this month, he said: “I regard it as a big idea like the smartphone. The smartphone is for everyone, we don’t have to think the iPhone is about a certain demographic, or country or vertical market: it’s for everyone. I think AR is that big, it’s huge. I get excited because of the things that could be done that could improve a lot of lives. And be entertaining.”

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