APPLE HAS REPORTEDLY roped in Valve to help it develop its long-rumoured augmented reality (AR) headset.
So says Digitimes, so as usual, we'd advise taking this with a fistful of salt. It reports that Apple "has partnered with US game developer Valve to develop AR head-mounted display devices," which it claims "may be released in the second half of 2020 at the earliest."
Though the hit-and-miss website reported in June that Apple had temporarily stopped developing AR/VR headsets and that the team working on them was disbanded, it now claims the firm was actually in the process of shifting from in-house development to collaborative development with Valve.
It's unclear exactly why Apple is joining forces with Valve - if indeed it is - though Valve does have some experience in the VR and HMD spaces; it released its first VR headset, the Valve Index, in April 2019, and though its relationship with Apple hasn't always been rosy, Valve worked with the firm to bring native VR headset support to macOS back in 2017.
This newly-formed partnership, however, will be focused on AR rather than VR, Digitimes reports, as "Tim Cook believes that AR can make digital content become part of the user's world and will be as popular as smartphones with consumers.
"This has also promoted Apple to step up the development of AR software by recruiting more engineers for graphic design, system interface and system architecture segments," the report notes.
As per previous rumours, the AR headset - which Digitimes claims will be assembled by Taiwan's ODMs Quanta Computer and Pegatron - will arrive as iPhone-reliant goggles equipped with holographic displays that will "synchronize with a wearer's smartphone to display things such as texts, emails, maps, and games over the user's field of vision." µ
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