Apple's AR smart glasses could be in the works

A leaked incident report suggests that Apple could be working on some interesting new eyewear, and that accidents happen.

Gordon Gottsegen CNET contributor
Gordon Gottsegen is a tech writer who has experience working at publications like Wired. He loves testing out new gadgets and complaining about them. He is the ghost of all failed Kickstarters.
Gordon Gottsegen
2 min read
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Apple may be working on some top secret hardware, including a pair of AR smartglasses. Rumors surfaced after an incident report was allegedly leaked to Gizmodo suggesting that the company was tinkering with some sort of ocular prototype.

The Apple document Gizmodo said it procured includes an incident in which an employee reported eye pain after using a new prototype. The employee believed that the pain may be a result of using the device, Gizmodo reported, along with testimony that the device's seal was broken, a suggestion it was tampered with.

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While the alleged incident report uses language to hide what kind of prototype it is, Gizmodo speculates that it could be some form of smart glasses.

A different incident states that an employee was sent to the optometrist after working with another prototype and experiencing eye pain and seeing "laser flashes." Again, the wording is vague, so we don't even know if the two prototypes were related or what they were meant to do.

Apple has already expressed an interest in AR, or augmented reality. CEO Tim Cook said he sees a big future for AR that will impact the world as much as the smartphone, which Apple helped popularize with the iPhone. So the thought of Apple working on AR eyeglasses isn't a stretch.

Already, some rumors claim that Apple may be working on ways to bring AR to the iPhone, while other reports say Apple is working on a pair of wearable glasses similar to Google Glass. But can glasses by Apple succeed where Google Glass fell short?

Oh, and if you're curious what other accidents Apple employees may have gotten into, one allegedly burned his hand pulling a fish out of the oven. Another is said to have dropped a heavy object on his toe, but didn't think it "was a big deal."

We've all had workdays like that.

Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment.