People laughed at Google Glass, and that ridicule may have made it seem like augmented reality glasses are too outlandish an idea to actually succeed. Even so, Piper Jaffray senior research analyst Gene Munster believes this technology might be Apple’s next foray into innovation, according to a report in The Wall Street Journal.
Munster believes that augmented reality, where digital information is overlaid onto the physical world, could be “as profound a technology platform as the smartphone today.” Munster believes that Apple is preparing for the next evolution of computing, and that such an evolution would include this revolutionary and controversial technology.
In 2013, Google Glass generated a lot of interest when it was unveiled. Most of that interest, however, was more for how horribly geeky it looked rather than for the technology itself. Munster’s analysis is that Apple’s “evolving fashion advantage” might help it develop augmented reality products that strike the right chord with consumers, appealing to their fashion sense as well as their technological interests.
Would such an idea really take off? Setting aside the awkward appearance of Google Glass, there were some valid concerns surrounding that particular brand of wearable technology. The device has been banned at various types of businesses around the world, including movie theaters and restaurants, because of the fear that a Google Glass wearer could be taking pictures of people without their permission.
If Apple does jump into the augmented reality arena, it would surely be met with the same initial skepticism that has surrounded the Apple Watch. Worries about secret surveillance, though, might make the success of an augmented reality wearable face an even steeper uphill battle to succeed. Apple, of course, quite often conducts research into technology it ultimately decides not to use. If Apple senses that the market for a technology won’t be there they usually scrap the idea before we hear more than rumors about it.