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.