Apple is years behind in the Augmented Reality headset arena, with not even a prototype device in the market.
Yet, the company is clearly poised to storm the field in the near future and likely leave no-one else standing, just like its late entry into the smartwatch and wireless headphone market.
Does anyone remember the Bragi Dash? Pebble is rapidly fading from our recollection. Lets not even talk about Symbian and Windows Mobile.
Apple is traditionally a late entrant, but even to this day, it appears that it retains the ability to easily steamroller first movers.
What convinced me today that Mixed Reality headsets are the next field Apple is set to destroy with the arrival of their Reality Composer application.
Reality Composer uses ARKit and lets anyone quickly prototype and produce content for AR experiences that are ready to integrate into apps using Xcode or share with others using AR Quick Look. Reality Composer lets you build animations and interactions on iPhone, iPad, and Mac to enrich your 3D content.
The app makes it supremely simple to make sophisticated 3D content with just a little bit of determination and taste, but minimal skill.
ARKit works on any iPhone, but works even better with the new LIDAR-enabled iPad.
Way back in 2018 Apple analyst Gene from Loup Ventures, noted:
We believe AR is real and Apple will be a beneficiary. We expect Apple’s AR theme to play out in three phases. First, this fall we expect 2 to 3 new iPhones to join iPhone X with advanced optics for AR (VCSEL arrays). Second, AR apps built using ARKit will slowly become the next gold rush for developers, led by games, e-commerce, and education. Last, we expect Apple will release Apple Glasses late in 2021
Apple, of course, has multiple patents for an Augmented Reality headset powered by an iPhone and if Apple can fit a LIDAR sensor into a 7 mm thick iPad, they can certainly fit it into a headset.
While other companies have been unable to convince regular users that it is cool to look like a cyborg in public, Apple, of course, has no such issues, with the AirPods being a perfect example.
With Apple predicted to deliver an AR headset in 2021, and with all the technology building blocks in place, I suspect it will not be long before everyone will ask HoloLens who?