Well, all that was months ago. Seems like a decade. Since then, VR remains virtually nothing. Yet. AR is where it’s at and somehow Steve Jobs came down from heaven and his guiding hand turned Apple and ARKit into the next great thing. Except for glasses. No, not even Jobs in the afterlife can get us a pair of Apple Glasses. Yet.
If Not Soon
You know what we want with AR, right? No, it’s not holding an iPhone or iPad over a table top so we can play some stupid AR game. It’s not driving down the highway looking at traffic in real time on our dashboard iPad screen. It’s not even outfitting our house or clothing choices with AR enhanced apps.
We want AR glasses. Apple Glasses. Glasses which look like regular old vanilla glasses in a variety of styles, but with AR elements on the screen. Maps, friends in FaceTime, text messages, directions to the red light specials at Target, and girls. Lots of girls (or, depending upon your gender affiliation, something else).
Apple CEO Tim Cook seems to like augmented reality and made sure it was properly introduced at the company’s WWDC conference for developers. Demonstrations seemed to indicate Apple had leapfrogged Google’s anemic and slow attempts to move forward with AR. Instead, Apple did the moving and placed ARKit– the tool developers used to make AR applications– at the front of the pack, and apps in front of a billion iOS users.
What about Apple Glasses?
There’s Hololens and some kind of Gear from Samsung and Occulus, but those are expensive virtual reality baubles. ARKit apps are about the present (or, nearly present), so AR glasses must be around the corner. Where is it?
Not There Yet
We might think of Apple’s designers and engineers as magicians or highly paid pragmatists, but there is a reality to deal with in this universe surrounded by other universes in the multiverse.
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
But it’s coming, right? Apple is always first with the next great thing, right? Apple shows us the way and everyone else copies and follows, right?
We don’t give a rat’s about being first, we want to be the best, and give people a great experience. 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
OK, maybe not yet, but soon; just as soon as Apple finishes a few more layers in ARKit and technology gets smaller, thinner, faster, lighter, and more powerful, and someone comes up with ARKit-based apps that work well on the lenses of a pair of glasses powered by blinks.
For now, we have to endure iPhone X fever, and exercise some patience in the calm before the coming AR storm.