If you’ve been following Apple rumors for a while, chances are you’re already bored of hearing about the Apple Glasses. Speculation that Apple is working on some kind of AR headset has been rampant ever since the first Google Glass ever came out, and just like the mythical Apple HDTV, the rumors have refused to die.
But compared to other Apple concept products, there’s a lot of anecdotal evidence that a set of AR glasses are in the works. Apple CEO Tim Cook has talked at length about how he believes AR is the future; Apple’s already built augmented reality into its newest iPhones; and most importantly, suppliers just can’t stop talking about it.
This week’s Apple Glasses rumor comes from C.C. Leung, the Vice Chairman of Apple manufacturing partner Quanta Computer. “We are working on an AR project and have studied the optical technologies that AR devices have needed since two years ago,” Leung reportedly told Nikkei Asian Review following the company’s earnings call. “Currently, we see such a device available in the market no later than the year 2019.”
Leung didn’t mention Apple by name — he’s surely contractually prevented from doing so — but given Apple’s interest in AR and the two companies’ existing partnership, it would be surprising if Quanta is working on an AR project for anyone else. Leung described the AR glasses as a “”headset-like gadget with a fully transparent lens that allows users to see through and interact with the environment.”
That’s about the vaguest possible way to describe an AR headset, and doesn’t really give us any insight into whether is building Google Glass 2.0, or something more like Microsoft’s HoloLens. But the one thing that Leung did clear up is the availability.
Existing rumors suggested that Apple’s AR headset would hit the market in 2020 or later. Leung’s comments — “no later than the year 2019” — mean that the glasses are at most two years away from market. Better start saving!