Published on July 24th, 2019 | by Emergent Enterprise0
Apple Reportedly Launching Mixed Reality Headset in 2020
It was recently announced that Apple was discontinuing its development of AR glasses but now comes news that the tech giant is focusing on a mixed reality headset. Jesus Diaz breaks the news at Tom’s Guide about Apple’s projected launch in 2020 that will certainly shake the AR/VR/MR/XR world. Since an AR or VR headset has not taken off with the mainstream it will be interesting to see if the Apple brand can launch it to viability.
(Image credit: idropnews/Martin Hajek)
Apple’s AR glasses may be dead, but the company is reportedly working to release a mixed reality headset in 2020 with 8K displays for each eye and a set of cameras and sensors to track both the environment and the user’s face. The project codename: T288.
Mixed reality headsets are basically straight VR headsets that are equipped with cameras to capture the reality around the user. Rather than overlaying 3D computer graphics on your actual view of the world — like with the Microsoft Hololens — a mixed reality set takes the video capture with the camera and the synthetic image and merges it into a video.
A CNET story claims that a new Apple patent filed with the United States Patent and Trademark Office is proof of their previous April 2018 report. The patent — published on July 18, 2019 after a March 2019 filing — describes a headset with one display for each eye, cameras, and sensors to capture the user’s face. This will not only allow the headset to mix reality and 3D into one, but will also track the user’s expressions to render its avatar in cyberspace.
Apple has had a long list of patents and company acquisitions that clearly show that the Cupertino company is working on AR glasses.
Tim Cook has said in the past that he is a fan of AR, thinking that VR is too closed and isolating, while AR is about connecting with others and the real world. As a result of this AR strategy, Apple started to buy companies related to augmented reality as far back as 2015, when it acquired Metaio and the software code that formed the basis for Apple ARKit, the company’s augmented reality development kit for iOS.
In 2017 alone, Apple bought InVisage Tecnologies (an American quantum dot-based image sensor manufacturer), Regain (a French computer vision company), Vrvana (a Canadian manufacturer of augmented reality head-mounted displays), and SensoMotoric Instruments (which makes eye tracking hardware and software). Most recently, Apple bought Akonia Holographics and its 200 AR patents.