Apple CEO Tim Cook looks on during an Apple special event at the Steve Jobs Theatre on the Apple Park campus on September 12, 2017 in Cupertino, California
Apple CEO Tim Cook looks on during an Apple special event at the Steve Jobs Theatre on the Apple Park campus on September 12, 2017 in Cupertino, California

Apple isn't going to make smart glasses any time soon, but they might be coming, says Tim Cook

'We don’t give a rat’s about being first, we want to be the best, and give people a great experience,' he told The Independent

Andrew Griffin
Tuesday 10 October 2017 19:55

Apple could eventually release smart glasses – but they aren't coming immediately, according to Tim Cook.

The technology simply isn't ready yet for any company to launch any such wearables in the near future, the Apple boss told The Independent in a new interview. And while some may be launched again soon, they are likely to run into problems – just like those that befell Google Glass.

Apple has long been rumoured to be working on smart glasses as part of augmented reality. Those plans have been pushed along by patent filings that show Apple is at least experimenting with the technology.

It's even been suggested by some reports that the company has launched its new AR push in part so that it can get everything ready for those glasses. By launching on the iPhone first, it can make sure that customers, developers and their apps are all ready for the eventual devices, according to a Bloomberg report earlier this year.

But Mr Cook said that the technology simply isn't ready for any such product in the near future. Anyone who does launch them has probably done so as part of a compromise – but not one that Apple would be comfortable making, he said.

“There are rumours and stuff about companies working on those – we obviously don’t talk about what we’re working on,” Cook told The Independent.

“But today I can tell you the technology itself doesn’t exist to do that in a quality way. 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,” he said. The company wouldn't embark on such a release if it couldn't uphold that quality, he said.

“We don’t give a rat’s about being first, we want to be the best, and give people a great experience,” he told The Independent. “But now anything you would se 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.”

He said some of those problems will be solved in the future. “Most technology challenges can be solved, but it’s a matter of how long,” he said.