Insights From The Blog

Apple AR Contact Lenses: Rumour or ‘Virtual’ Reality?

Once only the preserve of Mission Impossible and Sci-Fi movies, there are now huge advances in smart contact lenses, with a number of companies actively investigating how these would work, and defining what they would be capable of. While there are plenty of companies working on this kind of technology, there are some exciting rumours being bandied around about Apple and their developments in this area.

Of course, being Apple, they are certainly keeping things close to their chest and there is little more than rumour surrounding the state of any of their in-development tech, but there are some fairly well-informed industry observers who seem to have a knack for getting it right.  And the rumours are getting exciting.

The main rumours allude to the technology eventually taking the place of the iPhone range, and being the main way that people would communicate with each other. The company, who were the innovators of the smart-phone, are keen to hit the market with whatever will replace those devices and become a market leader once again.

The company is certainly putting a lot into this notion and by all accounts the development is very advanced. If all goes according to plan, the release date is expected to be somewhere between the late 2020s and early 2030s, which isn’t a long way off in terms of technology change. While Apple may ultimately intend to phase out the iPhone in favour of this AR/VR portfolio, however the corporation will almost certainly keep the current types of devices, such as the iPhone, available for those who feel a bit uncomfortable with putting things in their eyes and still want a phone in their pocket instead. According to reports, individuals will be able to customise their contact lenses in ways that other devices, such as Apple Glasses, may not. Apple is likely to make the contact lenses blend in with your natural eye colour so that they are invisible to others, but is also expected to sell them in a variety of vibrant colours, and the contact lenses will primarily use augmented reality capabilities rather than mixed reality.

Apple’s proposed contact lenses are likely to run on some version of the upcoming “realityOS,” system. And because they will be small devices, manufacturing them is likely to be much easier and cheaper, and this means the price will not be in the £1,000 to £2,000 range like the Apple mixed reality headset, or even the £399 to £699 range like Apple Glass, but lower still.  In fact, with cheap manufacturing principles for this fairly simple technology, Apple could be looking at a retail price in the much more sensible £99 to £299 range, making them accessible to most people.

Authoritative website MacRumors sys that “Apple’s contact lenses could provide a lightweight augmented reality experience without the need to wear glasses or a headset. In simple terms, augmented reality overlays digital information over a real-world view; for example, a person walking in an outdoor shopping plaza could easily view each store’s hours of operation.”

The next ten years are likely to see huge changes in the technology that we use and how we use it. As the Metaverse grows so too will the ways in which we will access this and other forms of entertainment and lifestyle Apps, and many tech companies are turning to the idea of wearable devices with which to participate.  If the rumours are true, then Apple could end up as leader of the pack.