Apple is supposed to have an augmented reality headset in development, though the company is being typically silent about any plans they have in that department. But folks are on the lookout for signs of Apple’s AR headset, and there is talk that we’ll likely see it in 2020.
Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo claims that Apple’s still-rumoured AR hardware is set to go into mass production relatively soon. This could take place as soon as the end of this year but possibly as far back as mid-2020. The timeline matters from a release and announcement perspective. If Apple puts their version of an AR headset into production by year-end, we’re looking at a mid-2020 launch. Delaying manufacturing till 2020 means we might see it at Apple’s annual iPhone reveal event instead.
Kuo offered up some details concerning the apparent hardware. Like previous mobile virtual reality platforms, Apple’s AR headset will make use of a smartphone (an iPhone, in this case) in order to function. Unlike the competition, the headset will function as a display. More than that, it’ll be a display only. Most of the heavy lifting will be handled by the iPhone connected (wirelessly, we assume… and hope) to the system.
There are benefits to this approach. The headset could be made lighter, and even cheaper — though this is Apple and it’s not going to be cheap. It’s not like the iPhone doesn’t already have the spare processing capability, as well as ARKit support, built in. Even accounting for the sensors and other in-headset tech required for AR, we could be looking at a light, versatile piece of tech. And, coming from Apple, it’ll likely look stylish as hell.
Engadget points out that Apple took a similar approach to the first Apple Watch. An iPhone was needed to get all the bits and pieces working as required. Look where that took us. This rumour may still be in the ‘wait and see’ category for us but if Apple wants to hit us with some AR tech, we’ll be among the first in line.