HINTS THAT APPLE may be working on an augmented reality (AR) headset have been spinning around the rumour mill for some time, but they've been lent some credence with a file found in iOS 13.
Eagle-eyed developer Steve Troughton-Smith spotted a readme file in iOS 13 that tells Apple employees how to run augmented reality apps on an iPhone without using a headset.
Extrapolate this info outwards and it's not hard to conclude that Apple could be working on a dedicated AR headset to work in tandem with its iPhones.
Troughton-Smith also noted that the StarBoard framework, which is Apple's system shell for stereo AR apps, is also now in iOS 13, which would suggest something akin to a pair of AR goggles or glasses is in the works.
StarBoard frameworks on iOS 13 now. StarBoard is Apple's system shell for stereo augmented reality apps (headset). Guess secrecy is out? pic.twitter.com/XTnlqQgpHh— Steve Troughton-Smith (@stroughtonsmith) 10 September 2019
Apple has been involved in AR for a while not, notably with its Animoji feature for the iPhone X and beyond. So an AR headset to go alongside the processing guts of the latest iPhones wouldn't seem too far-fetched.
Troughton-Smith also noted the GameController framework in iOS 13 has a gamepad profile for a "device meant to be used while using stereo AR", which again points towards an Apple AR headset being worked on somewhere in the secretive confines of Apple's Cupertino HQ.
Given Microsoft's HoloLens and HoloLens 2 are business-focussed devices, and Google Glass didn't take off in the consumer world, Apple will really need to make sure it has an AR headset that can really capture the minds of its users and not fall into relative obscurity like the aforementioned headsets.
But Apple is Apple, and it would likely kick out a set of AR specs that have Apple fans falling over themselves to smugly wear while pretending to tap out a screenplay while sipping a matcha latte on their MacBook Pros in an insufferably OTT coffee shop.
Or this could be some extraneous file that some Apple software wrangler left in iOS 13 and that Apple has no AR headset in the works. µ
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