Apple’s possible prototype controller for upcoming AR headset leaks out

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apple-ar-vr-headset-controller
No, this likely isn't the final version that will ship.
Photo: MacRumors

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.

Why Apple needs outside help to create hit products [Opinion]

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Apple’s first AR headset could launch in 2022, AR glasses in 2023
Apple may need a little help polishing its glasses
Concept: Taeyeon Kim

Recent rumors suggest that Apple is leaning on another company to help develop its highly anticipated augmented reality headset. At first, I thought that sounded crazy. Apple Glasses look set to be the company’s biggest new product launch since Apple Watch. Surely Cupertino would keep development of something that important in-house?

But when you look back over Apple’s history of joint ventures, it starts to make more sense. Apple tends to partner with third-parties in very specific circumstances — and Cupertino knows exactly what it’s doing.

Apple’s first AR headset spilled by iOS 13

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Apple’s first AR headset could launch in 2022, AR glasses in 2023
You can expect big things next year.
Concept: Taeyeon Kim

Apple is still developing its own augmented reality headset, according to code discovered in iOS 13.

Internal builds of the software include a “STARTester” app for switching in and out of a headset mode, according to a new report. It offers two modes, including “worn” and “held.”

Researchers also uncovered a text file that describes a “StarBoard” system for stereo AR apps.