APPLE IS REPORTEDLY developing a pair of augmented reality (AR) glasses that could debut later this year.
So says industry watcher and ex-Google Glass fanatic Robert Scoble, who has heard that Apple is building the AR specs in partnership with optics outfit Zeiss.
In a post on Facebook, he said: "Exclusive news: Apple and Zeiss working together on augmented reality optics. For the nerds who were at CES and not paying attention to all my posts.
"A Zeiss employee confirmed the rumours that Apple and Carl Zeiss AG are working on a light pair of augmented reality/mixed reality glasses that may be announced this year. (I thought it was next year but now that I saw this I believe it will happen this year).
"I hear Meta is getting ready to announce same with Lumus, the optic folks. And that explains why there was no augmented reality in Zeiss's booth even though it was right in the middle of the AR area."
While no further details have been outed, this ain't the first time we've heard about Apple's ambitions to take on the likes of Microsoft HoloLens and Google's now-defunct Glass specs.
Back in November, reports claimed that Apple has already started ordering small quantities of near-eye displays for its upcoming wearable that will connect wirelessly to a nearby iPhone and shove images into the wearer's field of vision.
However, the same report said that the as yet unnamed device ill launch in 2018 "at the earliest", noting that Apple may struggle to source chips, batteries and other components that are small enough to power a slim wearable capable of delivering AR experiences.
While Apple has yet to comment on the building speculation, the firm hasn't been shy about its ambitions to get into the world of AR, and the firm is no doubt under pressure to move into new areas as iPhone and iPad sales continue to stall.
Apple CEO and self-confessed Pokémon Go fan Tim Cook told analysts earlier this year that AR has more potential than virtual reality.
"AR can be really great, and we have been [investing], and continue to invest, a lot in this. We are high on AR for the long run. We think there are great things for customers and a great commercial opportunity," he said.
The firm has also acquired a number of startups from the AR sector, including PrimeSense, a real-time motion firm whose technology had been used in the latest Star Wars films, and Metaio, a company that made SDKs and toolkits that help to create AR apps.
Welcome to the dystopia Black Mirror warned us about
Microsoft in 'more helpful' shock
A whole new way to be tied to your ISP
Search giant puts Epyc chips at the heart of its datacentre servers