A leaked iOS 14 build has further added credence to the fact that Apple is working on an AR/VR headset which it could potentially release in 2021 or 2022. The leaked iOS 14 build contains a photo of a generic controller for an AR/VR headset that looks similar to HTC’s Vive controller.
A previous rumor had claimed that Apple has partnered with Valve over its AR headset. A report from 2017 had claimed that Apple engineers were using HTC’s Vive headset for internal testing. It is unlikely that Apple’s AR/VR controller will have such a generic design. This is likely just a generic image that Apple is using a placeholder and the final product is going to be more polished.
Apple is working on many new AR features for iOS 14. This includes a new AR app codenamed ‘Gobi’ that will provide users with more information about the world around them using AR. The app will integrate with Apple’s own retail stores and Starbucks. Users will be able to hold their phone in front of an Apple Store and get information about the displayed products, pricing, compare their features, and more.
As discovered by MacRumors, Apple is testing a new AR experience called “crosswalk bowling game.” The AR experience will allow users to roll down a virtual bowling ball across a crosswalk to knock down virtual bowling pins on the other side while waiting for the pedestrian light to change to green. This AR experience can also be activated at an intersection near Apple’s office in Mathilda Ave in Sunnyvale, California.
References to Apple’s AR/VR headset were also found in the internal builds of iOS 13. It is clear that Apple is building AR apps and an ecosystem before it releases its AR headset. Previous rumors and reports point to Apple releasing its AR headset in 2021 and then follow it up with a sleeker pair of AR glasses in 2022. The company recently launched the 2020 iPad Pro with a LiDAR scanner that further helps in enhancing the AR experience.