Apple pursued AR as a way to sell premium hardware and to attract developers to iOS. Here's why Apple's AR vision uniquely succeeded despite opposition, naysaying, and competitive ideas — and why Google and its Android partners failed to do the same with smartphone VR.
Between 2014 and 2019, Google and its Android licensees promoted various smartphone-based virtual reality systems. At the same time, Apple remained conspicuously absent from the smartphone VR headset race, which in hindsight appears prescient. Here's a look at why.
Apple is looking to expand its augmented reality and virtual reality teams and patent hoard even more, with a rumored acquisition of California VR firm NextVR on the cards that may be worth $100 million.
Apple's long-rumored AR headset may include wireless charging points in the headband, locate its position in a space with ultrasonic imaging, and include an adjustable support structure to make it fit all users equally well, regardless of the size of their facial features compared to other people.
Apple wants it to be easier for users to unlock multiple devices in quick succession, with the authentication of a head-mounted AR or VR headset or smart glasses potentially allowing other nearby items to automatically authenticate the user.
A new Apple patent describes a system of registering when a user is or is not touching a real object in a virtual space, and doing so with depth measurement from fingertips and calculated from camera angles.
Apple's long-rumored AR or VR headset could keep some of its optical components behind an electrically-controlled layer to hide them from view when not required, as well as earphones that could be removed from the head-mounted display and used as speakers.
In a trio of new patents about Augmented Reality, Apple reveals that it is continuing to work on using a smart ring to help with detecting a user's motion, as well as new systems for playing relevant audio, and positioning virtual objects in the real world.
Apple is working on new 3D sensor hardware that will power augmented reality applications in iPad next year, according to a report on Monday, with the technology slated to land in a long-rumored headset in 2021 or 2022.