According to a report by The Information, Apple plans to enter the Augmented Reality market by launching a headset in 2022 and a smaller pair of glasses by 2023.
A report by TF Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo originally reported that Apple was originally planning to release said AR devices in the first half of 2020. However, with the newest report by The Information, the timeline has reportedly been pushed back for longer development time and for further maturity of the Augmented Reality technology.
Another report released prior to the one by The Information stated that Apple partnered with video game developer Valve, owner and operator of Steam, and a pioneer in VR technology.
Apple's supposed AR headset's technologies
As per the The Information report, the first headset is supposedly similar in size to Facebook's Oculus Quest. It is supposed to support both AR and VR technologies. It is supposedly a standalone product but would be too cumbersome to be used outside a walled environment. The lightweight glasses, designed for everyday usage, would be released later on as a follow up to the AR/VR Headset. Both devices are rumored to use a new 3D sensor system, which is an evolution in the current FaceID camera systems found in iPhones and iPads today.
According to Bloomberg, Apple reportedly has around 1,000 engineers working on the AR project. The team is composed of experts from varying disciplines, including hardware, software, gaming, and graphics.
For the future, Apple looks at AR
For some time, Apple has slowly been pushing AR integration in their products. Animoji, Apple's animated emoji applicated, was its first array into AR. Combined with the wearable technology in the form of the Apple Watch and AirPords, Apple has been creating an all-new integrated ecosystem that integrates the Apple product family with the user's current environment.
With iPhone sales slowing down, Apple has been looking for a new revenue source to sustain their market growth and dominance. CEO Tim Cook has hinted that the move towards AR was "a big idea," according to The Independent in 2017.
Other Tech Giants also filling up the AR/VR field
However, its rivals in Microsoft, Facebook, and Google have also been investing in the AR/VR Space. Facebook bought out VR startup Occulus back in 2014 for $2.4 Billion dollars in cash and stock and have continuously released various VR headsets such as the Rift, the Quest, and the Go. Google released Daydream and Cardboard for Android as a way for Android users to easily access VR content on their smartphones. They also released the first lightweight AR wearable in Google Glass. Microsoft has its own hybrid AR/VR headset in the HoloLens. The company also launched its own Mixed Reality platform, in which headsets from Acer, HP, Dell, Asus, Samsung, and Lenovo have all developed hardware for.