Snapchat Spectacles

According to a new report from Bloomberg, Apple is currently weighing the possibility of expanding into the field of digital glasses. While the report is sparse on details, it notes that the market could be particularly lucrative for Apple.

Apple is weighing an expansion into digital glasses, a risky but potentially lucrative area of wearable computing, according to people familiar with the matter, Bloomberg News reports.

The report goes on to explain that the idea is still in the “exploration phase,” but that digital glasses would connect wirelessly to a user’s iPhone and present media such as images in the user’s field of vision. The glasses may also take advantage of augmented reality, an area that Tim Cook has been very vocal about in the past.

Apple has reportedly already reached out to potential suppliers about the idea, ordering small quantities of near-eye displays “from one supplier for testing.” The company, however, hasn’t ordered enough components to indicate a mass-production launch anytime soon.

In fact, today’s report notes that should Apple decide to move forward with its digital glasses initiative, it won’t be until 2018 at the earliest that they’re released. Apple, however, is known to test many products and cancel them before they see the light of day, and that’s still a very real possibility with the digital glasses.

Apple has acquired a handful of companies with expertise in augmented reality over recent years, including Metaio and several top experts in the field.

When it comes to hardware for digital glasses, however, Apple will face many challenges. Fitting the necessary components for the device in a form factor that’s comfortable enough for 24/7 wearing is a problem that has plagued earlier offerings in this market. Though, as Apple has proved in the past, it doesn’t let the efforts of other companies dictate what it attempts to do.

The news of Apple’s interest in digital glasses comes as Snapchat is experimenting with its own offering in the market. While they’re hard to come by and in the early stages of their lifecycle, the Spectacles have been met with mixed reactions from early reviewers but allow users to easily record and upload first-person video content.

What do you think about the possibility about Apple offering a pair of digital glasses? Let us know in the comments.

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About the Author

Chance Miller

Chance is an editor for the entire 9to5 network and covers the latest Apple news for 9to5Mac.

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