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Kuo: Apple working on AR contact lenses for release between 2030 and 2040

Aside from the rumored mixed reality headset and augmented reality (AR) glasses, Apple may also be developing contact lenses featuring AR technology for release in the 2030s.


STORY HIGHLIGHTS:

  • Lightweight AR experience.
  • The product is highly speculative.
  • It might rely on an iPhone connection.

An aerial view of the Apple Park headquarters

Invisible computing is coming

That’s according to Ming-Chi Kuo of TF International Securities, the most reliable Apple analyst on the planet. According to his research note to clients, seen by MacRumors, 9to5Mac and AppleInsider, this lens-based hardware will users in the era of “invisible computing,” as opposed to the current era of “visible computing” that we’re currently living in.

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The accessory may require a connection to an iPhone like the Apple Watch because Kuo thinks the lenses are “unlikely to have independent computing power and storage,” the report has it.

The accessory may arrive between 2030 and 2040.

Kuo has reliable sources in Apple’s supply chain which allows him to report on Apple’s moves with a high degree of accuracy. His research reports usually focus on products that are in active development, but this doesn’t appear to be such a product— Kuo says there’s “no visibility for the launch schedule” yet.

Apple’s AR/VR/MR plans

No major details are provided about the rumored product. That said, it’s safe to assume that Apple-branded AR contact lenses would overlay computer images on top of the real world.

Such an accessory would allow people to use AR apps for things like navigation, messaging and so forth without having to wear a bulky headset on wear AR glasses.

Kuo has also revised his expectations for Apple’s rumored mixed reality headset and AR glasses. According to the research note, a mixed-reality headset from Apple is coming in mid-2022 while AR glasses will follow by 2025.

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