It’s been long rumoured that Apple is working on a pair of augmented reality glasses (opens in new tab). And the latest leaks suggest the Apple Glasses (opens in new tab) are on the horizon, with these given credence by Apple’s acquisition of virtual reality company NextVR.
The company’s website noted it’s “heading in a new direction” and Apple confirmed the deal to The Wall Street Journal (opens in new tab), but didn’t shed any light on the details of the equation. We’d be fairly confident that it will use NextVR not just to augment any of its VR ideas, but also aid its AR glasses efforts (opens in new tab).
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Apple has been flirting with AR for some time, from its Animoji avatars to its support for augmented reality games like Pokemon Go (opens in new tab). But it has yet to fully step into making a dedicated AR device.
NextVR doesn’t actually make VR or AR hardware either, but it does specialise in capturing 360-degree video and compressing it so it can be easily viewed on the best VR headsets (opens in new tab). This is an important part of providing content for VR and AR devices.
We’d hazard a good guess that Apple has a pair of AR glasses and possibly a VR headset in the works, using its experience in hardware design to make a slick pair of AR specs. And its acquisition of NextVR now gives it the means to produce more VR and AR content for its devices.
Alternatively, Apple could be looking at creating 360-degree videos and shows to go one its Apple TV Plus (opens in new tab) subscription streaming service.
Microsoft is another major tech company that’s dabbled in AR with its HoloLens goggles, which are now in their second-generation (opens in new tab) and are rather impressive. So with its resources and hardware experience, there’s no reason why Apple couldn’t produce an impressive pair of AR glasses.