Apple made a secret trip to CES to talk AR glasses, says report

Apple typically doesn't bother attending CES – preferring instead to host its own product launches throughout the year – but according to a report, Apple representatives were at the show in Las Vegas this week, and they were speaking to parts suppliers for AR glasses.

In a lengthy report on AR and VR at the Consumer Electronics Show, Bloomberg says Apple was in talks with other companies about building some augmented reality specs. The same suppliers apparently also spoke to the likes of Facebook, Google, Snap and Xiaomi, so expect a flood of devices to show up in the near future.

Sources speaking to Bloomberg say that almost everyone in the tech business is exploring the possibility of building some AR glasses, and a few sets have already been unveiled – we got to try the Alexa-powered Vuzix Blade at CES this year, for example (see the photo above).

Gazing into the future

Bloomberg's report makes only a passing reference to Apple, and doesn't give us any more details on what it might be prepping, but we can fill in a lot of the blanks. Apple has been rumored to be working on something like this for a long time, and recently introduced some extra AR smarts to iOS.

Some sources say these iGlasses could be with us as early as this year, but Apple boss Tim Cook has gone on the record to say the technology isn't ready yet: "Today I can tell you the technology itself doesn’t exist to do that in a quality way... the field of view, the quality of the display itself, it’s not there yet."

Cook didn't confirm or deny that some Apple AR glasses were in the pipeline, but we've heard rumors from suppliers as well as media reports that they're on the way. And if you spotted someone at CES with an Apple badge on, now you know why.

David Nield
Freelance Contributor

Dave is a freelance tech journalist who has been writing about gadgets, apps and the web for more than two decades. Based out of Stockport, England, on TechRadar you'll find him covering news, features and reviews, particularly for phones, tablets and wearables. Working to ensure our breaking news coverage is the best in the business over weekends, David also has bylines at Gizmodo, T3, PopSci and a few other places besides, as well as being many years editing the likes of PC Explorer and The Hardware Handbook.