Google Glass generated a lot of hype in 2013, but it was a complete flop in the mass consumer market upon its release.
The company didn’t give up, though. Google released a tweaked edition to improve the augmented reality specs for enterprise users. Some developers license the technology via the “Glass at Work” program and use the product strictly in workplaces. After all, Google Glass is still an odd presence in public.
However, with AR’s rising popularity, Google might give it another try with a revamped product. The company filed a patent last year involving another glass-style gadget that would use micro-LEDs in a transparent display. The glasses would show a user information in augmented reality through the display.
The micro-LEDs might be the answer to the previous design failure of Google Glass. In the 2013 model, the display was outside of a person’s natural field of view, and users would have to uncomfortably move their eyes up and down to check the information. With the micro-LEDs display projecting information right onto the glasses, users can see the AR information with both eyes steadily. The patent also suggests that the screen can switch between transparent and matte modes, compatible with both AR and VR technologies.
According to the patent, other Google headwear like Goggles could essentially incorporate the technology as well.
Apple also owns a micro-LED company called LuxVue, implying the company’s plan to make a pair of Apple glasses when the technology is ripe. The company’s aggressive move toward AR with the new iPhone X is also indicative of Apple’s interest in AR-oriented products. However, Apple CEO Tim Cook thinks the company is not ready for it yet.
“The field of view, the quality of the display itself, it's not there yet and as with all of its products, Apple will only ship something if it feels it can do it in a quality way,” Cook said.