Apple is almost ready to send the chip that’ll be at the heart of its virtual reality headset to production, according to an unconfirmed report. That’s a big step in the product reaching customers’ hands.
A respected Apple analyst just made a startling prediction about mixed reality/augmented reality: “We believe that MR/AR products could replace all display-equipped electronics in the long term,” wrote Ming-Chi Kuo in a note sent to investors Sunday.
Kuo said he expects Apple to play a big part in taking these emerging technologies mainstream. And he sees Cupertino making augmented reality contact lenses eventually, and a variety of AR products before then.
Don’t expect too much from Apple’s first virtual reality headset. A new report warns that Cupertino’s first stab at a wearable VR system, which could come in 2022, will be expensive with a limited set of capabilities.
The device is believed to be designed primarily as a “niche precursor” to more ambitious AR/VR glasses that Apple plans to launch later.
Apple TV+ isn’t the only department within Apple that’s snapping up Hollywood talent. According to a new report by the Wall Street Journal, Apple is among the tech giants recruiting top movie industry VFX experts and technology to help its AR and VR ambitions.
The article traces the development of an Apple VR and AR headset to late 2015. It claims Apple dedicated up to 1,000 engineers to work on a project aiming to be the first major new product since the Apple Watch. However, the project has been subject to disagreements about its direction.
Appropriately enough at a time we’re worried about touching any surface without immediately washing our hands, the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office has published an eye-tracking patent application from Apple describing a method of letting users control an interface with nothing more than a simple glance.
The application possibly sheds light on one of the features of Apple’s rumored head-mounted display for augmented and virtual reality.
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.