Imagine wearing a pair of glasses that would bring iOS to your eyeballs. Maps directions would show up on top of real-life streets, and you'd be able to see your iMessages and notifications without having to pull your phone out. That's a future Apple could be working toward, according to a new Bloomberg report that suggests the company is working on a pair of Google Glass-like augmented reality glasses.
Details are scarce on what could be Apple's first AR glasses, as Bloomberg notes that Apple is still in "an exploration phase" and likely wouldn't have anything ready until at least 2018. The device would likely sync with your iPhone, and would potentially add a variety of neat AR functions to Apple's existing apps.
While we don't know what Apple's smart glasses might look like or how they'd work, we do know how fond Apple CEO Tim Cook is of augmented reality, which allows people to see virtual objects laid atop of the real world.
Speaking to the Washington Post in August, Cook called AR a "core technology" and vaguely hinted that "it's something we're doing a lot of things on behind [the] curtain."
Cook later told Good Morning America that he prefers augmented reality over virtual reality, stating that "virtual reality sort of encloses and immerses the person into an experience that can be really cool, but probably has a lower commercial interest over time."
If Apple does release a pair of AR glasses, they'll probably help you get around. The company recently secured a patent for a possible AR navigation platform, which would use cameras and accelerometers to figure out where you are in the real world and give you appropriate directions.
While Google Glass flopped a few years ago due to its high price and short battery life, Apple will likely have plenty of competition once it officially enters the AR space. Microsoft's HoloLens has consistently wowed with its ability to project Windows apps onto real-world environments, though it's currently only available as a $3,000 developer kit. Perhaps Apple should be more worried about the $129 Snapchat Spectacles, a more casual pair of sunglasses that let you create point-of-view videos and upload them to the wildly popular social network.