Augmented reality (AR) will play a big part in Apple’s future going forward. Tim Cook has hinted as much in previous years, long before Apple released the first AR experiences on the iPhone and iPad. ARKit allows developers to create AR apps for Apple’s devices, and we’ve seen some great concepts.
However, using the iPhone alone might not be enough to enjoy AR, which is probably why Apple is working on AR glasses of its own. According to reports, such a product will be launched in 2019 or 2020. And it looks like Apple partners are already preparing for Apple’s AR future.
A story from Digitimes says that chassis maker and long-time Apple supplier Catcher revealed recently that it’s working on chassis for a brand new product line outside of its existing three major categories.
The news comes all the way from Catcher chairman Allen Horng, though he did not mention Apple or AR. However, market watchers believe that Catcher’s new product could be related to AR or VR devices.
Apple isn’t Catcher’s only client, but it is the most important one. So Catcher readying production lines for a new Apple product wouldn’t be surprising.
Catcher isn’t the only supplier rumored to make parts for future AR glasses. Quanta Computer licensed technologies from Israel-based AR optical component developer Lumus to mass-produce camera lenses. Apple is a major client for Quanta as well.
Apple’s future AR glasses already have an internal codename, AppleInsider reports. That’s T288, while the operating system is referred to as rOS. It’s unclear at this time whether the product will work on its own, or whether it’ll require a constant iPhone connection.