Apple will reportedly release a pair of augmented reality (AR) glasses in 2023, after the release of an AR headset in 2022.
The arrival of these AR devices has been delayed a couple of years, as Apple reportedly seeking to ensure the hardware for the wearable devices is bullet-proof.
It was reported in 2017 that Apple had been hoping to deliver an augmented-reality headset by 2020.
For years now there have been reports that Apple has been exploring the development of a wearable augmented reality device, ever since Apple gained an AR patent in 2013 when it acquired WiFiSlam.
Speculation around Apple’s intentions only increased when CEO Tim Cook in 2017 predicted that AR technology could have as much impact as the smartphone.
It is well known that Cook and Apple feel that AR has much more potential than virtual reality (VR), given how the technology allows for interaction with the physical world rather than immersing people in virtual ones.
And now according to a report in The Information, which cited ‘people familiar with the matter’, Apple executives shared the company’s product roadmap for two augmented reality devices in an internal meeting in October.
Apple is said to be aiming to release an augmented-reality headset in 2022 and a sleeker pair of AR glasses by 2023.
Details of the glasses (due in 2023) are sketchy at best, but apparently the lenses will darken when in use, to indicate to other people that the wearer is interacting with an AR world.
The AR headset (due in 2022) meanwhile is expected to be similar to that of the Oculus Quest and will reportedly combine both AR and virtual reality.
It is reported that both wearable devices will come with a “3D sensor system”, which is set to be a more advanced take on Apple’s Face ID camera technology.
The AR group at Apple is thought to be made up of several hundred engineers at least, and the teams are scattered across offices in both Cupertino and Sunnyvale, California. It is reported the AR team is working on several hardware and software projects under the umbrella code name of “T288.”
The team’s first product was ARKit, a set of tools that allows third party developers to create AR applications for the latest iPhones and iPads.
This is apparently an interim step, in order to give Apple an opportunity to test the technology on an existing product.
The next stage will see the creation of a headset with a built-in display capable of streaming 3D video without draining the battery.
Apple is also reportedly designing its own in-house chip to power the AR headset and is also building a new operating system dubbed “rOS” for “reality operating system.”
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