On 27 July, Patently Apple discovered a filed patent application under Metaio, an AR startup that Apple acquired in 2015, that covers a method for ‘representing points of interest in a view of a real environment on a screen of an iPhone with interaction functionality’. The rumors say that this patent is for AR smart glasses from Apple, an understandable route to take for the Giants after launching their highly anticipated ARKit.
In layman terms, augmented reality, or sometimes also called mixed reality, is a combination of the real world and the virtual world – basically, it’s anything that’s set in the real world, with virtual interactive elements superimposed on it. AR devices let people interact with both real and virtual objects.
According to details in Apple’s patent, it looks like the company is trying to develop an AR device that will let users get these experiences without having to use their iPhone screens, in other words, smart glasses that let users interact with their environment hands free – a project that Google has already ventured into earlier and failed, with most arguing that it was too ahead of its time.
So maybe, Apple are taking it one step at a time. The ARKit leaks have gotten the world excited about what’s to come, and developers have already used the platform to create a myriad of compatible tools for the program. Provided that the ARKit succeeds, Apple will be well placed to look into releasing their AR Glasses.
As with all patents, nothing has been confirmed or denied by Apple as of yet regarding the glasses. However, as things stand, it seems like AR is definitely one of the big fields that Apple is focusing on for the future.