Apple iGlasses

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Apple iGlasses
Category Smartglasses
Developer Apple Inc.
Released Developers:
Price USD
Operating system iOS (rumoured)
Field of view
Weight g


Data available limited
Risk factor

iGlasses is the nickname for Apple’s own research into smartglasses. Not much is known about the project. It is rumoured that Apple works on their own prototype in secrecy or that they set the project aside while they focus on other, already profitable products.[1] The development of Apple’s own smartglasses was not completely halted, though. In May 2015, The company acquired the AR reality start-up Metaio.[2] Metaio is a well established company with extensive AR know-how that could help Apple in building their own device in the future.[3]

Main Characteristics

Due to iGlasses being still a speculation, there is but a small amount of information available about it. All media outlets refer to a single patent from 2012[4] that roughly describes Apple’s future AR device.

The patent is rather vague and only shows that Apple has yet to manufacture a finished, functioning device. Although, the patent does describe a number of specific elements. The device will have two displays, one for each of the user’s eye but rather than displaying the image directly on the displays, it will be projected onto the glasses from the frame. The desired FOV is envisioned to be as close as possible to natural human FOV. The device will feature an external processing unit and memory connected to the glasses.

A feature that sets it apart from other similar devices is the active color correction of the peripheral part of the visual field. Apple plans to have the frame of the displays outlined with yet unspecified light sources that will actively change the color of the edges of the translucent display to match the colors of the information displayed. Whether the virtual elements will have the ability to be anchored to the real elements of the original scene was not specified. Although, the recent acquisition of Metaio (2015) could mean that this will be possible.

As for the controls, the patent does not mention anything specific apart from a range of generic means of control of the connected processing unit. There is no mention of a gestural interface and the only mentioned hands-free way of operating the device is voice control. iGlasess should also feature audio speakers.

iGlasses are said to be in development since 2006. Apple’s ex-chair of the iPod division Tony Fadell claims that working on iGlasses was the “craziest concept” he ever worked on and that Apple already made a number of prototypes.[5]


Mainly for entertainment - Fadell also mentioned that Apple want the device to be a new way of consuming media.[6]

Company & People

Timothy Donald Cook - Chief Executive Office of Apple, Inc.

Sir Jonathan Paul Ive - Chief Design Officer of Apple, Inc.

Anthony Michael Fadell - Former Senior Vice President of Apple, Inc., now Chief Executive Officer of Nest Labs.

Important Dates

  • Already announced or expected dates of release, release of past prototypes, versions and so on.
  • In development since 2006.[5]
  • Patented granted in 2012.
  • Rumoured not to be released in the upcoming 10 years.[7]
  • Availability for public has yet to be announced.

Ethical Issues & Health Risks

There has been no issues noted with the device so far specifically. However, some general issues connected to Smartglasses may still apply.


Enhancement. - It is too early to categorize the device for sure. There are no details available about the device to make an informed judgement but according to the speculations, Apple's eventual eyewear will be mainly used for entertainment purposes.

Public & Media Impact and Presentation

The device did not generate much hype apart from the news after Apple was granted the aforementioned patent.[8] Apples itself is not making any advertisement and since 2012, the media focus shifted to other devices instead. A few media outlets criticise Apple for not being innovative and that they should release information about the rumoured iGlasses as soon as possible to stay competitive with other similar devices.[9]

Public Policy

There is no legislation concerning Apple iGlasses at the moment. However, some policies regarding Smartglasses may apply.

Related Scientific Research

There is no scientific research concerning Apple iGlasses as of yet.


  1. Apple iGlass: the augmented reality glasses to kill casual conversation (Retrieved Jul 21, 2015)
  2. Apple Acquires Augmented Reality Company Metaio (Retrieved Jul 21, 2015)
  3. Apple's Latest Acquisition Shows It's Serious About Augmented Reality (Retrieved Jul 21, 2015)
  4. APPLE INC. (CUPERTINO, CA). Peripheral treatment for head-mounted displays. (Retrieved Jul 21, 2015)
  5. 5.0 5.1 Former Exec Says Apple Started Developing 'iGlasses,' A Google Glass Competitor, In 2006 (Retrieved Jul 21, 2015)
  6. Apple's iGlasses Are Real. Here's Why You Might Never See Them (Retrieved Jul 21, 2015)
  7. Apple Glass: venturing into augmented reality (Retrieved Jul 21, 2015)
  8. Apple iGlasses Coming Soon? New Patent Reveals Rival To Google's Project Glass (Retrieved Jul 21, 2015)
  9. COHEN, Peter. Never mind the Apple Watch: Where's Apple Glass? IMore [online]. 2015, Jan 28 (Retrieved Jul 21, 2015)