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macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001

Apple CEO Tim Cook recently sat down for a wide ranging interview with The Independent alongside several app developers where he discussed augmented reality in its current incarnation on the iPhone and provided a bit of insight into Apple's plans for future devices that could potentially take advantage of augmented reality, like smart glasses.

As is typical, Cook refused to comment on products Apple has in development, but when questioned about the topic, he said the technology to create a pair of augmented reality smart glasses "in a quality way" does not exist today.
"But today I can tell you the technology itself doesn't exist to do that in a quality way. The display technology required, as well as putting enough stuff around your face - there's huge challenges with that.

"The field of view, the quality of the display itself, it's not there yet."
Cook went on to say that Apple will only ship a product that's the best, reiterating that the company doesn't care about being first to new technology. "We want to be the best and give people a great experience," he said. "But now anything you would see on the market any time soon would not be something any of us would be satisfied with. Nor do I think the vast majority of people would be satisfied."

Google Glass augmented reality glasses

Rumors have suggested Apple is working on a pair of augmented reality smart glasses and has experimented with multiple prototypes, but based on both Cook's statement today and past rumors, a wearable Apple-branded augmented reality product is still a ways off.

Recent information has suggested augmented reality smart glasses are at least a year away or longer, with Apple aiming to figure out the "most compelling application" for an AR headset.

Though the technology does not exist today in Cook's opinion, he did provide some hope for a future AR wearable from Apple. "Most technology challenges can be solved, but it's a matter of how long," he said.

The rest of Cook's interview, which can be read over at The Independent and is well worth checking out, focuses heavily on ARKit and augmented reality. As he has done many times in the past, Cook said AR is huge, will be used by everyone, and will take off much like the App Store or multi-touch functionality.

Article Link: Apple CEO Tim Cook: Technology Doesn't Exist to do AR Smart Glasses 'In a Quality Way'


macrumors 6502
Apr 12, 2012
It's the future but we can't do it now.
We can make a smartwatch now and you dummies will buy it. So voila.

You're true motives are crystal clear to anyone that's not an idiot.
Don't tell me the first gen watch, rMB. we're quality.


Jul 12, 2016
This technology is a maturity process and when the time is ready, this looks to have some interesting advances. I think it will be at least 2019 by the time we see anything.
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macrumors 6502
Sep 24, 2012
Apple doesn't rush. It doesn't always deliver, but when it does, it's done right, even if it takes longer. I've tried Holo Lens recently, and I agree about the lack of quality: the image quality is lacking and the thing is ugly and bulky to an ungodly extent.


macrumors G5
May 30, 2002
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
your company has $200 billion in the bank though like make the technology

Tim Cook "We are not working on any smart glasses.." Behind closed doors- "so how are the smart glasses coming along?"

Bingo! Lol.

Let’s see how their UI team is working on culturally universal gestures.

E.g. bidding our heads side to side in the western world is generally accepted as “No” but within India and Pakistan it’s not the same. It’s more like I haven’t decided yet or I’m thinking or considering.


macrumors G3
Sep 12, 2017
Sunnyvale, CA
In 3 years time when they announce the product, Apple will say that they have been developing this techonlogy over the past 10 years...
Which will be a true statement. And since Steve Jobs was involved for the first couple of years, the Cook haters will give Jobs all the credit, and mark the tenth anniversary of saying Cook should be fired.

Such is life on the MacRumors forum lol.


macrumors member
Jun 3, 2014
Its our fault. If Apple could release a slightly half-baked product that would evolve to become a huge success, they would. But imagine the criticism if it were a bit far from perfect. They couldn't release today a lot of 1st gen products that grew a lot, like the iPod and iPhone.

flat five

macrumors 603
Feb 6, 2007
Seriously though, who really wants to wear those glasses, ever?

if AR apps on the phones begin to integrate into everyday life at a noticeable amount.. and you have a bunch of people walking around stiff-armed looking at their phones and navigating through it. (think- walking zombies holding phones in front of them ... or, pokemon * 100 )

..if that happens, people who think like you do today, will then change your mind to "holy crap dude! will you please just put on the glasses already?!"



macrumors 68000
Jul 6, 2012
your company has $200 billion in the bank though like make the technology

You can be quite sure (based on what we've seen of their prior developments) they are developing and testing such things. There should be some 1.0 releases from some mfrs this next year or so, should be exciting - I'm also quite content with Apple taking their time and releasing such a thing on their schedule.

Any AR glass would need something to do the heavy lifting (the smartphone is the logical device) - and Apple with their much more powerful CPU's compared to the rest of the industry would have a significant advantage because of it.
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macrumors member
Jul 24, 2014
They're not going to make the glasses until the watch has peaked - otherwise they would be cannibalizing their accessory lines.


macrumors 68000
Sep 1, 2017
Is it realistically possible to have them as contact glasses instead as the screen and an external device as the engine? Perhaps, as a watch?
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