During CES, representatives from major players like Apple, Facebook, and Google met with suppliers that make the nuts and bolts required to power AR glasses, according to people familiar with the meetings. Smaller firms like Snap and China’s Xiaomi also met with potential partners at the show, indicating a desire to build their own AR headsets. Behind the scenes, Samsung and LG have already placed small orders of AR components to start prototyping devices.
Recently, there have been rumors that Apple is working on an augmented-reality headset that could ship as early as 2020. Apple's device reportedly has its own display and runs on a new chip and operating system dubbed 'rOS'. Apple is purportedly investigating touch panels, voice-activation via Siri and head gestures while engineers are prototyping a range of applications, from mapping and texting to virtual meeting rooms and 360-degree video playback.
“Almost everyone is preparing an AR product,” says Ari Grobman, who runs an AR technology company called Lumus. “Some will lead; others will be in a position to follow right away.” Interestingly, Quanta, a manufacturing partner of Apple's, has reached a licensing deal with Lumus to make lenses for smart glasses.
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