Last night, we reported that Apple is planning to release an AR headset in 2022 and AR glasses in 2023. Today, Bloomberg revealed Apple’s near term plan for AR. Apple is working on a 3D sensor module that will be part of the upcoming iPad Pro and iPhone releasing in 2020. In addition, this new 3D sensor module will power the range of AR and VR products from Apple including the AR headset and AR glasses. This new 3D sensor module will help users create three-dimensional reconstructions of rooms, objects and people. Bloomberg also revealed that Apple’s AR headset coming in 2021 or 2022 will be focused on gaming, watching video and virtual meetings.
We have seen several reports from the past that Apple is working on an AR headset. In September, the news was confirmed by Apple itself through iOS 13 final build which was released for developers. In a read me file available in the build, Apple mentioned steps for developers on how to test AR apps without the AR headset. Apple is referring to AR headset apps as Stereo AR enabled apps. In an internal presentation to employees, Apple Vice President Mike Rockwell, who leads Apple’s AR and virtual reality teams, revealed new information about the design and features of the AR headset. Read about them below.
- These upcoming headsets will include features like 3D scanning and advanced human detection.
- The AR headset will come with high-resolution display (probably 8K).
- There will be cameras that will allow users to see people standing in front of and behind virtual objects.
- Ability to map the surfaces, edges, and dimensions of rooms with greater accuracy than current headsets like HoloLens.
- The AR headset will look similar to Oculus Quest, but will be made of lightweight materials for improving comfort.
Apple even demoed some features of its headset to its employees through a video in which a virtual coffee machine was placed on a real kitchen table surrounded by people in a room and the virtual coffee machine obscured people standing behind it in the room.