Apple AR glasses rumors strengthen after injury reports

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According to reports, some Apple employees have sustained injuries owing to the use of a ‘prototype’ wearable device.

It is official that Apple is interested in exploring augmented reality technology. CEO Tim Cook emphasized it last year and now we have plausible cues that the project is indeed underway. There have been rumors in the past that the company is working on a set of AR-based glasses, similar to the ill-fated Google Glass and now, thanks to an injury report from the Apple Campus, we can be sure of the product being in its development stages.

The incident report compiled by an Environment Health and Safety contractor working for Apple got accidentally sent to hundreds of Apple employees and eventually was leaked out to Gizmodo. According to the report, there have been as many as 70 different incidents related to the secretive AR-based wearable.

Titled “Impact Descriptions Reported in [Santa Clara Valley] from Last Month,” the incident report notes all cases, including some amusing ones about employees after running into a door, and some concerning cases where people needed medical attention after testing new Apple products. Some noteworthy incidents include one mentioning how an employee burned his hand pulling fish out of the oven or when an employee reported of “feeling lightheaded” and “stressed”. ALSO READ: Apple working on Google-like augmented reality glasses

Augmented reality technology works by superimposing virtual things over the real-life environment.  To recall, Google Glass was also based on augmented reality technology. The pair of glasses featured a small screen on one corner of the head-mounted display which projected images, texts, characters – only visible to the wearer. This also put privacy advocates into gear seeking answers from Google about the level of privacy and the possible misuse of facial-recognition that was one of the developing features for the device.

While Google Glass did not take off as expected, a gaming app – Pokémon GO – brought the focus again on the exceptional potential of the medium. Additionally, there are services like Snapchat and now Facebook which are aiming to bring the technology to the masses through simple features such as live filters, virtual spaces, etc.

While the fresh incident reports do not detail the rumored Apple headset specifically, but the vague reference to “prototype unit” that caused discomfort to the eyes which required medical treatment beyond first aid is quite indicative of what’s cooking in the company’s secretive lab. Additionally, there are also mentions of “new prototype units” which suggest that the company is still trying and testing the technology to bring a comfortable product that puts the technology to its best use. ALSO READ: Apple, Carl Zeiss reportedly collaborate to develop augmented reality glasses

Recently, it was reported that Apple has over 1,000 engineers working on the ambitious project. The talent pool includes experts from Oculus, HoloLens, and Hollywood. It is worth mentioning that in the past, Bloomberg reported that Apple has ordered small quantities of near-eye displays from one supplier for testing. Given that the company did not order enough components for the purported device, it is unlikely to see the light of the day anytime soon. If rumors are to be believed, Apple’s AR-based headset won’t likely be a reality before 2018.

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