It turns out that report may have been inaccurate. Newly discovered files in internal iOS 13 builds suggest Apple is still developing an AR headset of its own, codenamed “Garta.”
iOS 13 hints at ongoing AR headset projectIn addition to the STARTester app and StarBoard README file, iOS 13 includes “numerous strings related to a so-called ‘StarBoard mode’ and various ‘views’ and ‘scenes,'” reports MacRumors. “Many of the strings reference augmented reality, including ‘ARStarBoardViewController’ and ‘ARStarBoardSceneManager.'”
Given that these references remain in iOS 13, which wasn’t unveiled until two months after the AR glasses project was supposedly canceled, there’s good reason to believe work is still ongoing.
As the technology becomes mainstream, virtual reality will make more worlds open up to customers. Think of resorts sharing virtual experiences to lure adventurers to book a desired holiday, or social channels such as YouTube housing content that are simply plug-and-play—the possibilities are endless.
When will we see Apple’s AR glasses?Several sources, including reliable Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, have reported that Apple could debut its AR glasses as early as 2020. Bloomberg reporter Mark Gurman claimed in November 2017 the glasses will run a custom version of iOS dubbed “rOS” for “reality operating system.” Apple back in April expanded its Mac Pro trademark to include “augmented reality display, goggles, controllers, headsets, and 3D spectacles,” while AR has become a bigger focus for the company.
Apple’s interest in ARApple recently kicked off augmented reality art sessions through the Apple Store, four months after naming a senior executive to head up its AR marketing efforts. Meanwhile, updates to iOS have continued to expand and improve upon Apple’s ARKit framework for AR apps, and iOS 13 includes a “huge amount” of evidence for AR devices, according to developer Steve Troughton-Smith.
Apple CEO Tim Cook has previously suggested AR is hugely important to Apple. “I think it is profound,” he said in June 2017. “I am so excited about it, I just want to yell out and scream.”