“Apple is all-in on augmented reality. But where will it lead?” That’s a pretty standard view of Apple’s experiments with visual AR, aka overlaying virtual objects onto the real world, via the iPhone’s camera and screen.
But Apple is already providing a fully immersive AR overlay onto the real world, to millions of users — only it isn’t using a screen. AirPods are augmented reality. They are also a part of a new computing paradigm that Apple snuck into the world without telling anybody. This paradigm currently consists of AirPods, iPhone, Apple Watch and the HomePod. And it is as discreet and low-key as it is important.