Rumors have talked in great detail about Apple’s plans for augmented reality devices. A new patent that belongs to Metaio is giving further credence to the rumors. Metaio was bought by Apple in May earlier this year and has already transferred a handful of patents to the Cupertino giant since the acquisition.
The patent filing reveals how augmented reality hardware will comprise of both the smartphone and a head-mounted display. The user will be able to interact with the objects that appear on the glass/display using the smartphone. The phone, in this scenario, will also need to be equipped with the necessary hardware and software to make the feature work.
Another concept talks about how users can point a finger at the objects that appear on the smart glasses and interact with them. This will be possible thanks to the array of cameras attached to the glasses, allowing the user’s finger to be mapped and tracked as it is moved towards a specific direction.
While Apple hasn’t been vocal about launching AR powered smart glasses, the company has officially forayed into augmented reality with the launch of ARKit. However, a recent report from a Foxconn insider suggested that the Apple Smart Glass project might have been pushed to 2018-19 or scrapped completely. The insider added that even though these smart glasses had a pretty unique design, there’s a 65% chance that it has been shelved.
It was further believed that the device was equipped with a bone conduction earpiece, a microphone, an accelerometer, and a capacitive frame for navigation and interaction. The smart glass was apparently built using a Kopin NED Acetate frame. Apple was also looking to sell them with prescription lenses or with polarized glasses in partnership with Zeiss.
Despite the many positives, Apple apparently found it increasingly difficult to mass produce flexible batteries required for the smart glass. Since this is supposed to be a consumer product, not having a stable supply of the device wouldn’t go down well with the market. This ultimately led to its delay and/or demise.
[Via Patently Apple]