Apple readies processor to power future VR headset

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A Apple VR headset is an Open secret, as demonstrated by a recent patent filing.
An illustration from a recent Apple patent filing shows a possible VR headset.
Graphic: Apple

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.

Apple augmented reality devices could help shape all future computers

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The eventual culmination of Apple augmented reality efforts will be AR contact lenses
Apple will eventually release augmented reality contact lenses, according to a trusted analyst.
Photo: Skitterphoto/Pexels CC/Cult of Mac

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.

One more year: Apple’s VR headset could debut in early 2022

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Apple could take on the likes of Oculus with a VR headset as early as 2022.
Apple could take on the likes of Oculus with its debut VR headset.
Photo: Minh Pham/Unsplash CC

Apple’s debut virtual reality headset could arrive in the first quarter of 2022, JPMorgan Chase Securities tech analyst Yang Weilun claims in a new note to investors.

The report says Apple’s VR headset will supposedly boast six lenses, lidar and a time-of-flight sensor. It will allegedly retail for upward of $500.

Apple’s first VR headset could be an expensive disappointment

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Apple VR headset could look like Oculus Quest
Apple's first headset could be around the same size as Oculus Quest.
Photo: Oculus

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.

Jony Ive reportedly clashed with Apple exec over forthcoming VR/AR headset

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Jony Ive
Jony Ive, who left Apple last year, reportedly had strong views on Apple's VR strategy.
Photo: Vanity Fair/YouTube

Apple’s VR and AR headset ambitions fueled a clash between Apple Technology Development Group executive Mike Rockwell and former design boss Jony Ive, who left Apple last year, a new Bloomberg report claims.

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.

Future Apple devices could be controlled with ultra-precise eye-tracking

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Eye closeup
Could this shed light on Apple's AR headset plans?
Photo: v2osk on Unsplash

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’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.

Apple proposes VR glove that lets you feel virtual textures

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Apple’s proposed VR glove
A proposed Apple VR glove lets you feel the virtual items you see.
Photo: Apple/Cult of Mac

Apple engineers laid the groundwork for a pair of gloves that would let users feel objects displayed by virtual reality or augmented reality.

The idea of gloves with haptic feedback isn’t new, but a newly-received patent shows Apple continues to put considerable research and development effort into cutting-edge VR and AR.