Report: Apple's AR glasses will sync to iPhones, display, games, maps

Revealed: Apple’s rumored augmented reality headset will sync with your iPhone to display games, maps and messages

  • A new report suggests Apple’s AR headset will display texts, games, and more
  • The report also suggests Apple thinks the device could replace the iPhone 
  • A major Apple analysts says the firm may release an AR headset in 2020  

Apple’s anticipated augmented reality headset is coming into focus with a new round of reports that suggests the device will come equipped with several essential tools.

Bloomberg reports that the tech giant’s upcoming augmented reality headset – which the report pointedly refers to as ‘glasses’ – will sync with one’s iPhone to display maps, messages, games and email.

The company is also reportedly considering making its app store accessible through hardware.

According to Bloomberg, the glasses will also come with holographic lenses that will likely serve as the technical backbone of the device and bring its AR experience to life by overlaying digital displays on real life.  

Apple has long been rumored to be developing its own pair of AR glasses. The tech giant has filed a patent (pictured above) this year that gives a glimpse into what it may be developing behind closed doors

A recent patent application from the company suggests Apple is pursing a technology described as a ‘Display Device’ that uses a futuristic-sounding ‘reflective holographic combiner.’

Apple seems to think that this holographic technology – which is apparently capable of reflecting light in one’s environment – could more seamlessly blend objects rendered in the headset’s display, increasing the depth-of-field and reducing the resulting eyestrain and nausea often associated with AR and VR technology.  

According to Bloomberg, Apple is currently hiring game developers and graphics designers to help pioneer the device category and even grooming the product as an potential replacement for one’s iPhone. 

A recent research note from analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who has a knack for correctly predicting Apple’s forthcoming hardware, previously suggested the tech giant could have the glasses ready by the first half of 2020. 

Kuo’s note also forecasts that Apple will be partnering with ‘third-party brands’ to design the headset. 

Likewise Facebook has reportedly partnered with Rayban to work on its own pair of augmented reality glasses in the coming one to two years. 

WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN AR AND VR?

Virtual reality is a computer-generated simulation of an environment or situation

  • It immerses the user by making them feel like they are in the simulated reality throughimages and sounds
  • For example, in VR, you could feel like you’re climbing a mountain while sat at home

In contrast, augmented reality layers computer-generated images on top of an existing reality

  • AR is developed into apps to bring digital components into the real world
  • For example, in the Pokemon Go app, the characters seem to appear in real world scenarios

Bloomberg suggests that unlike Apple’s headset, however, Facebook will not have augmented reality built-in, but will function similarly to Snapchat’s Spetacles and work to place calls, take pictures, and more.

Kuo’s predictions come on the heels of several other hints that Apple may be further along in its development of its first-ever AR glasses.

Last month MacRumors says it saw documentation of an internal iOS 13 build for what looks like support for an augmented reality headset.

Those documents showed evidence of what MacRumors reports is a mysterious ‘STARTester’ app which can switch to a head-mounted mode as well as code designed to run stereo-enabled AR apps that the outlet said implies the existence of a headset.

Documents also suggest that Apple may have a prototype of the device which is reportedly code-named ‘Garta.’    

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