For the second year in a row, the keynote presentation of Apple has not ‘taken our breath away’. We felt much the same as last year, in 2019 - the new iPhone had departed too far from the initial technological revolution which inspired and amazed. New phones, a new Apple Watch and an updated iPad did not awaken the desire to upgrade.
Several journalists are accustomed to the idea that Apple is the leader in the mobile innovation field. However, many are experiencing an increasingly stronger feeling of disappointment and some even compared the keynote presentation to ‘Groundhog Day’, referencing the changing price tag but not the content.
Still, there is a light at the end of the tunnel: there was a hidden hint in Apple’s presentation about Augmented Reality and what the company’s positioning is in this area.
In spite of a recent claim by Jeremy Horwitz in DigiTimes that Apple has ‘temporarily stopped developing AR/VR headsets’, the new iOS 13 code documentation allegedly consists of references to Augmented Reality. In a report by Apple, the mentioned component is called the 'STARTester’ app which works as a switch for a head-mounted mode. Seemingly to reproduce the functionality of an augmented reality headset on the iPhone itself, with the purpose of testing out the technology.
Aside from the internal switch, there is also a file under the name 'StarBoard’ that is linked to the AR-enabling stereo, which suggests the existence of a headset that could somehow be connected to the iPhone.
A substantial number of sources report that the launch of an Apple AR headset will take place next year. This is due to several patents filed for in recent years, containing technology related to an augmented reality headset. One of these patents stands out as the most innovative of them all, it suggests that the AR Apple headset could potentially help people that suffer from visual impairment. This is made possible by distorting reality, in order to make it bigger than the object the user is looking at.
Regardless of what abilities Apple’s augmented reality headset will bring and when it will be shown to the public, we wait eagerly for their AR glasses. Of course, our own AR platform sphere will run on any popular glasses that will enter the market, thanks to its device independence. This extends to ones that will arrive on the AR market in both the near term and long-term future.