Apple Glass: Cupertino built Google Glass-like prototypes years ago

By on September 10, 2013, 12:00 PM
apple, prototype, cupertino, oculus rift, google glass, apple glass

Apple at one point built visor-style prototypes similar to Google Glass but ultimately abandoned the project because they didn’t have time to turn them into actual products. The admission came from current Nest CEO and former Apple senior VP Tony Fadell during a chat as part of Fast Company’s Oral History of Apple Design series.

During his time as VP from 2006 to 2008, he said Apple was always trying to find new things to revolutionize. They looked at video cameras and remote controls but the craziest thing they considered was something like Google Glass.

The idea, for which several prototypes were built, was to make a visor that would mimic the experience of sitting in a theater. The problem was Apple was having such success with other things they were already doing that there just wasn’t enough time to advance the visor project.

Fadell’s description of the device sounds a bit more like the Oculus Rift than Google Glass although it shouldn’t really be surprising. Apple certainly has the resources and expertise to dabble into any technology they see fit but unlike Samsung, they traditionally tend to focus efforts on a small handful of products.

As Apple’s Greg Joswiak put it back in 2011, saying “no” is one of Apple’s four keys to success. There are only so many grade A players, he said, and if you spread yourself out over too many things, none of them will be great.




User Comments: 5

Got something to say? Post a comment
MilwaukeeMike said:

As Apple?s Greg Joswiak put it back in 2011, saying ?no? is one of Apple?s four keys to success. There are only so many grade A players, he said, and if you spread yourself out over too many things, none of them will be great.

Not spreading yourself too thin is one of those things they teach you marketing 101. It's one of the reasons you can't get a pizza at McDonalds.

What Greg calls 'spreading too thin' other companies call diversifying. What happened to the worlds best type-writer company when the PC was invented? What happened to Kodak when the digital camera came around? Not 'spreading too thin' can also mean 'put ting all your eggs in one basket.'. When an industry fades you could get screwed. Ask Dell how that's going for them.

Diversification has worked great for Samsung and companies like Yamaha. Yamaha makes great motorcycles AND musical instruments.

The reason Apple doesn't diversify is that they want to protect their brand. There's nothing $exy about a washing machine, and even the Samsung logo isn't going to change that. Apple doesn't want any product out there that says 'Apple' unless it's ground-breaking and unique. It's also why the the lower cost 5C will be a big surprise. They tend to keep their prices high (like the iPad mini) to keep their brand exclusive.

Wendig0 Wendig0, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Hahaha, he really pulled the "We did this before it was cool" card.... lol

JC713 JC713 said:

This is more creepy than cool.

GreenArrow GreenArrow said:

I am sorry but you can also say that Microsoft made the tablet first that does not prove anything about there company.

FF222 said:

"They looked at video cameras and remote controls but the craziest thing they considered was something like Google Glass. The idea, for which several prototypes were built, was to make a visor that would mimic the experience of sitting in a theater."

So, they did not actually try to build a Google Glass-like device, but a VR glass. Which you could buy already in the early '90s.

Just another attempt trying to make Apple appear like the inventor and leader, when in reality it's just a copier and follower.

Load all comments...

Add New Comment

TechSpot Members
Login or sign up for free,
it takes about 30 seconds.
You may also...
Get complete access to the TechSpot community. Join thousands of technology enthusiasts that contribute and share knowledge in our forum. Get a private inbox, upload your own photo gallery and more.