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2020 could be the year of AR for Apple

By Cookie Monster - on 22 Oct 2019, 12:25am

2020 could be the year of AR for Apple

Augmented reality is said to be the main focus for Apple in 2020. 

Bloomberg reports that the coming year will be Apple's most impressive hardware rollout in years with the next generation iPhone having 5G connectivity and a rear-facing 3D camera, and the long awaited digital smart glasses.

The digital smart glasses are expected to have holographic displays in their lenses and could launch next year. They are likely to synchronize with the iPhone to show texts, emails, maps and games over the user's field of vision. An App Store is being considered for the glasses.

Apple is also said to be hiring experts in graphics and game development to establish the glasses as the leader in a new product category, and may one day be the successor to the iPhone. However, the 2020 targeted release could still be pushed back if Apple feels it needs more time. Other hardware releases for 2020 include an Apple Watch with sleep-tracking features and Macs that run on custom processors.

Apple has been rumored to be working on the digital smart glasses since 2016. Back then, Apple CEO Tim Cook expressed his optimism on AR and shared that the company is "high on AR for the long run", and that "there are great things for customers and a great commercial opportunity". Bank of America Merrill Lynch estimates that AR could generate between $6 billion to $8 billion in additional revenue for Apple.

The company is said to be working with Carl Zeiss on the glasses according to a report in 2017. More than 1,000 engineers are believed to be working on AR in Apple which could extend to the glasses. The AR team is brimming with talents from hardware and software departments. It acquired AR headset startup Vrvana for US$30 million in 2017, and AR lens maker Akonia Holographics in 2018.

A 2018 report claims that the digital smart glasses is capable of supporting AR and VR, and connect to a dedicated box using a high-speed, short-range wireless technology. Mass production of the digital smart glasses could begin by Q2 2020. In February this year, Apple appointed its first head of product marketing for AR, which reflects the growing importance of the business for the company.

Source: Bloomberg

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