Apple is testing out its rumored AR/VR headset internally using a generic controller similar in design to that of the HTC Vive, a report published Thursday by MacRumors suggests.
The report notes that, “given the basic design of the controller,” it is likely for internal testing only. A finished version is likely to be a lot more, well, Apple in its design. However, it’s enough to let Apple engineers get to grips with the technology which might allow it to launch its rumored AR/VR headset in 2021 or 2022.
According to MacRumors, Apple is testing an AR “crosswalk bowling game,” in which people can roll a virtual bowling ball to knock down pins on the other side of the streets while waiting for pedestrian lights to change at an intersection near an Apple office in Sunnyvale, CA. This office, located around five miles from Apple Park, is where Apple is rumored to be developing its AR/VR headset.
— Steve Troughton-Smith (@stroughtonsmith) March 26, 2020
Apple’s augmented reality ambitions
Augmented reality is something Apple has gotten increasingly excited about in recent years. Apple CEO Tim Cook has talked up AR at every opportunity. However, while Apple’s ARKit has been around for a few years now, it seems inevitable that the company is going to have to create a standalone AR/VR headset to fully take advantage of its possibilities. That’s because there is a limit to how much you can do with AR while holding up an iPhone to your face.
Last year, a report circulated which claimed that Apple had partnered with Valve, the company behind Steam, to develop its first augmented reality headset. Apple is also rumored to be including an application codenamed Gobi in iOS 14. This could potentially take advantage of the new rear-facing 3D cameras planned for this year’s iPhone refresh.
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