23 concepts that show what Apple's futuristic smart glasses might look like

apple glasses iphone x concept

Leo Costa/uMake

An Apple smart glasses concept from Leo Costa, inspired by the iPhone X and its "notch" to house important cameras and sensors.

For years now, we've been hearing that Apple is working on a pair of augmented-reality (AR) smart glasses.

AR, for those unfamiliar, lets you see virtual images in the real world. As Paul Canetti put it so well, AR is like "photoshopping the whole world."

Apple is carefully laying the foundation to bring augmented reality into the mainstream.

Apple announced ARKit last June, which effectively baked augmented reality into iOS. And a few months later, Apple announced the iPhone 8 and iPhone X, the first iPhones with the A11 Bionic chip that's capable of producing more detailed AR experiences.

Apple's smart glasses probably won't be ready for another year or two at the earliest, but if you're still wondering what a pair of augmented-reality glasses from Apple might look like, Freelancer.com - a popular freelancing and crowdsourcing marketplace - recently held a contest to see what a pair of Apple-made smart glasses should look like. The competition featured 60 entrants and a $250 prize.

Here are 23 of the best Apple smart-glasses concepts we saw:

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The winner of the contest was 31-year-old Renan Moreno from Brazil, who came up with this Apple smart-glasses concept that would provide an "unmatched gaming experience."

The winner of the contest was 31-year-old Renan Moreno from Brazil, who came up with this Apple smart-glasses concept that would provide an "unmatched gaming experience."

We're guessing the ski goggle-like set up on the bottom is for a fully immsersive virtual reality gaming experience, and the glasses at the top are for everyday use and maybe some casual gaming.

The first runner-up was this concept from 26-year-old Kervin Tuazon of Marikina City, Philippines, who was clearly inspired by Apple's Magic Mouse.

The first runner-up was this concept from 26-year-old Kervin Tuazon of Marikina City, Philippines, who was clearly inspired by Apple's Magic Mouse.

The second runner-up was this Apple smart-glasses concept from Kelly Echavarria Toro, a freelance designer from Antioquia, Colombia, who imagined a completely immersive AR headset that combines both high-end audio and visuals.

The second runner-up was this Apple smart-glasses concept from Kelly Echavarria Toro, a freelance designer from Antioquia, Colombia, who imagined a completely immersive AR headset that combines both high-end audio and visuals.

Check out some more of these outlandish Apple smart-glasses concepts from the contest:

Check out some more of these outlandish Apple smart-glasses concepts from the contest:

This one looks like a combination of the iOS and macOS interfaces, but inside a pair of glasses.

This one looks like a combination of the iOS and macOS interfaces, but inside a pair of glasses.

This almost looks like an Apple version of Google Glass.

This almost looks like an Apple version of Google Glass.

This is really more of a helmet, and has none of the subtlety of a pair of normal glasses, but it's still a neat concept nonetheless.

This is really more of a helmet, and has none of the subtlety of a pair of normal glasses, but it's still a neat concept nonetheless.

Note the old-school iPhone power button on the side of these glasses. No Touch ID, really?

Note the old-school iPhone power button on the side of these glasses. No Touch ID, really?

This Apple glasses concept features its design in a few different colors.

This Apple glasses concept features its design in a few different colors.

This closed-off concept might be more useful for VR instead of AR, but a camera on the front of the device might still let you see the outside world from within the glasses.

This closed-off concept might be more useful for VR instead of AR, but a camera on the front of the device might still let you see the outside world from within the glasses.

This concept from Venezuelan designer Marcos Quijada goes into more detail on how the Apple glasses would actually work:

This concept from Venezuelan designer Marcos Quijada goes into more detail on how the Apple glasses would actually work:

Quijada's concept uses cameras, sensors, and mirrors to create a comfortable but futuristic AR viewing experience.

Quijada's concept uses cameras, sensors, and mirrors to create a comfortable but futuristic AR viewing experience.

This concept shows a near-transparent band in front of the wearer's view, where one might assume virtual elements would appear.

This concept shows a near-transparent band in front of the wearer's view, where one might assume virtual elements would appear.

This AR smart-glasses concept has a curved display to cover your field-of-view.

This AR smart-glasses concept has a curved display to cover your field-of-view.

This concept might look futuristic, but judging by the shape of the frame and the lack of space to rest on your ears or nose, this would probably be uncomfortable to wear.

This concept might look futuristic, but judging by the shape of the frame and the lack of space to rest on your ears or nose, this would probably be uncomfortable to wear.

This concept looks like a normal pair of glasses, which is the ideal that most AR-headset makers are building towards.

This concept looks like a normal pair of glasses, which is the ideal that most AR-headset makers are building towards.

This Apple glasses concept almost looks more like a traditional face shield. Maybe we'll be doing lots of welding in the future.

This Apple glasses concept almost looks more like a traditional face shield. Maybe we'll be doing lots of welding in the future.

Here's another concept for Apple smart glasses that hardly looks technological at all. If you look closely, though, you'll spot a front-facing camera (or sensor) directly in the middle of these glasses.

Here's another concept for Apple smart glasses that hardly looks technological at all. If you look closely, though, you'll spot a front-facing camera (or sensor) directly in the middle of these glasses.

Here's another slick-looking concept with cameras and light-up Apple logos on each side.

Here's another slick-looking concept with cameras and light-up Apple logos on each side.

This concept really looks like a pair of modified Oakleys — for better or for worse.

This concept really looks like a pair of modified Oakleys — for better or for worse.

This concept shows what Apple-made glasses would actually accomplish: being able to get directions, or take calls, without needing to remove your phone from your pocket. That's what people are excited about.

This concept shows what Apple-made glasses would actually accomplish: being able to get directions, or take calls, without needing to remove your phone from your pocket. That's what people are excited about.

This polygonal concept does look dorky, especially with the Apple logo in the center, but at least the nosepads and side arms look comfortable to wear.

This polygonal concept does look dorky, especially with the Apple logo in the center, but at least the nosepads and side arms look comfortable to wear.

And finally, this might be the best and most original concept of the bunch: From Kazakhstan designer Sofya Medvedeva, this is actually a pair of Apple-made headphones where the glasses come out of the sides of the earcups through a mechanism and join in the middle to create a pair of smart glasses.

And finally, this might be the best and most original concept of the bunch: From Kazakhstan designer Sofya Medvedeva, this is actually a pair of Apple-made headphones where the glasses come out of the sides of the earcups through a mechanism and join in the middle to create a pair of smart glasses.

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