Augmented-reality glasses: apple’s plan to kill the iphone


The year is 2023. You walk into your local Carphone Warehouse and are greeted not by the usual menagerie of smartphones but instead by row after row of chunky spectacles. This is not a prediction of a merger between the mobile phone retailer and Specsavers but a vision of something more far-reaching: the end of the smartphone.

When the late Apple boss Steve Jobs unveiled the iPhone a decade ago, it marked the beginning of an era in which the little rectangles in our pockets would come to dominate our lives. That time is nearing its end.

In their place will be technology loosely called “spatial computing": holograms, emails, photos, calendar reminders, YouTube videos and even — the horror! — banner ads projected onto your field of vision by smart, augmented-reality (AR) glasses.

Smartphones will no longer be the digital be-all and end-all. Instead they will be relegated to a piece of hardware hidden from view, housing the computing power required to produce what is appearing before your eyes.