Apple’s Next Big Idea After the iPhone Sounds Awfully Familiar

Hope you're excited by augmented reality and smart eyeglasses

Tim Cook
Bespectacled Apple CEO Tim Cook at Apple's flagship NYC Fifth Avenue store
Taylor Hill/WireImage
By Kirk Miller / November 12, 2019 11:42 am

Ditch the iPhone. The next big tech breakthrough from Apple …well, sounds a lot like Google Glass.

Apple plans to replace the iPhone in about a decade’s time, according to The Information (via Business Insider). In its place: Smart, augmented-reality glasses, with an initial launch in 2022 for an Oculus-styled headset and a sleeker, sunglasses-like pair in 2023.

Now, this information isn’t official, but merely a leak from a secret meeting at Apple’s Cupertino HQ last month, attended by roughly 1000 employees While no products have been announced, Apple did recently introduce tools (ARKit 3, RealityKit, Reality Composer) for developers and consumers based around immersive AR at its Worldwide Developers Conference earlier this year.

A few issues: Besides both Google Glass and Oculus not exactly setting the world on fire, Apple still needs to find cheaper ways to make the headsets lighter.

If you can’t wait a few years until Apple’s foray into eyewear, some VR/AR experiences are coming soon. According to Bloomberg, the camera system on next year’s iPad Pro will let people create three-dimensional reconstructions of rooms, objects and people; that capability may also extend to the 2020 line of iPhones.

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