The iPhone may be the most successful product of all time, selling over 1 billion units and making Apple the most valuable publicly traded company in the world.Yet Apple already has to face the possibility of a world where new kinds of computers supplant the iPhone, just as the iPhone replaced iPods, and other computers, a decade ago.
The smartphone is the dominant computing platform today, but Microsoft, Google, Facebook, and now even Apple are already starting to invest heavily on augmented reality technology, which integrates computer graphics into the real world.
The thinking is that one day, this technology will end up in light and portable smart glasses, which will be able to replace all the screens in our lives – even the iPhone.
Apple sees what other tech companies are seeing: The smartphone market is not the growth engine it was a few years ago, and tech companies need something to replace it.
Apple CEO Tim Cook loves to talk about augmented reality. “I am so excited about it, I just want to yell out and scream,” Cook told Bloomberg earlier this month .
It’s not the first time he’s teased a big new product related to AR.
“AR is going to take a while, because there are some really hard technology challenges there. But it will happen, it will happen in a big way, and we will wonder when it does, how we ever lived without it. Like we wonder how we lived without our phone today,” Cook said last year.