With the sales of iPhone getting dim and flatlined, Apple is looking for something new and vibrant to bring it to the market. And it has found the next big thing in the form of Virtual Reality- Apple VR!
Officially, Apple has not said anything about its upcoming Apple VR project, even whether it is under work or not; yet hundreds of professional being hired to work on the project, the efforts are hard to unnoticed and ignore. According to several news reports, Apple Inc., CEO Tim Cook has hardly dismissed any prospects of Virtual Reality becoming a mainstream technology.
In fact, he has been quoted as saying that,
“In terms of virtual reality, no, I don’t think it’s a niche, and I think it can be — it’s really cool and has some interesting applications.”
Apple VR or AR: Which One To Decide?
While the company is exploring the Virtual Reality, named as Apple VR headset, a large number of its acquisitions are also supporting its related technology called as Augmented Reality. While virtual reality and augmented reality are two different technologies having different take on the head mounted display technology.
The Virtual Reality refers to a head mounted display unit that immerses the user fully into a 3D environment, Augmented Reality overlays computer generated images on the top of real world objects which is very much similar to the display what a jet pilot sees when he is in between flights.
Tim Cook – Apple CEO – on AR (Augmented Reality) #quote #quotes #AR #business #apple #vr #virtual #reality #news #entrepreneur #apple #entrepreneurship #siliconvalley #trends #startup #web #computer #computing #nextbigthing As with most earnings calls, Cook artfully danced dodged most questions while hitting key wins (services, iPhone SE) and trying to deflect from big losses (iPhone, iPad, Macbook). He did, however speak candidly about Apple’s future ambitions as they pertain to augmented reality. When asked about the breakout success of Pokémon Go and Apple’s future plans in the AR space, Cook said: It also does show that AR can be really great. We have been and continue to invest a lot in this. We are high on AR for the long run, we think there’s great things for customers and a great commercial opportunity. The number one thing is to make sure out products work well with other developer’s kind of products like Pokemon, that’s why you see so many iPhones in the wild chasing Pokémons [sic]. While Apple has been tied to rumors of a secret virtual reality project — in typical Apple fashion — its letting the rumor mill run wild without actually confirming anything. In this case, we don’t really need Apple to confirm that something is in the works, as recent VR/AR acquisitions and multiple hires in the space obviously point to something going on over in Cupertino. #pokemongo
A photo posted by Omar Aloyoun (@omaroyoun) on
Apart from their own VR Tech, Apple had also acquired a number of patents when it purchased its 3D sensor company Kinect in 2013. The company was the first motion tracking device.
Apple’s VR/AR Team
As per the speculations, hundreds of employees are working on Apple VR glasses project. While it cannot be exactly known which staff members are working on project, some of the hires in recent times have pointed towards the VR efforts.
In last year August, Apple had also hired Nick Thompson who was a employee at Microsoft and worked on Microsoft’s HoloLens augmented-reality project as lead audio hardware engineer. Thompson had also previously worked at Apple between 2001 and 2008, managing Mac software and audio processing teams.
Acquisitions & Patents
Apple is touted to purchase a big number of companies that can be used to build it virtual and augmented reality projects. The recent acquisition was FlyBy media which is an augmented reality effort company specializing in autonomous navigation, indoor mapping and 3D motor tracking. In the same month, Apple also purchased Emotient, a startup that work on using facial feature to read the emotions of the users.
As with many other rumored products from Apple, it is still unknown when and how that company has planned to debut this new gadget. But here in the case of playing a game of catching up, a number of competitors are likely to launch their own augmented and virtual reality projects in year 2016 including the likes of Sony’s PlayStation VR, HTC Vive, Facebook’s Oculus Rift, Microsoft HoloLens and Google’s Daydream VR.
Now that we have got so many confirmation about the development, the question arises is that what and how would an Apple VR headset look alike and what about the VR apps? If the device is on the path of development, then when we should expect its delivery date? There is no smoke without fire and the above mentioned instances have aroused a lot of smoke already. Apple VR is something that Apple cannot afford to miss as biggies of tech world are all moving towards this niche.
Apple VR Rumors
Tim Cook had discussed VR at Apple quarterly earnings call in January 2016 where Apple also announced its biggest quarterly benefits ever. While his statements did not provided a hint on whether their team is currently heading some projects in this domain or not, yet if we look at the past, we can get evidences of interest from the company officials for developing a VR headset.
Back in the year 2014, before the news of Apple TV surfaced, Tim Cook was quoted as saying that Apple has a great interest in developing TV and within a year, we had a completely new Apple TV that boasts of its own App store as well as gamin capabilities.
Walking further back in 2013, Tim had called the idea of smart watches to be interesting and it was only then we got Apple watch on our wrist. So as we said, it is not a confirmation yet provides a fair idea on what you can expect in the
coming times from the company.
— James Pargeter (@jamesdpargeter) July 27, 2016
Apple VR Headset Design and Features
According to the patents of the company, Apple VR Headset design might resemble motorcycle goggles or ski goggles. In order to enhance the comfort of the users, the Goggle system might also include breathable components like breathable foam. Which will rest against the user’s eyes and allow the users to move and rotate the display generating components for the alignment of the user’s eyes.
But still it’s not official design but an assumption from their patent timeline. In some embodiment’s, the headset might also include data processing circuitry operative to adjust the left and the right images being generated by the optical components. These optical components display 3D media or accounts for user eyesight limitations. The patent was filed in May 2007 before the iPhone was even released.
Also, there will be notable advanced features like dedicated OS, sensors touch control, Voice recognition, Social media & app store features, and live videos, etc. Apple VR features are getting real close to the next level of virtual world.
Apple VR Headset Release Date: True or Hoax?
If we assume the Apple is working on VR headset and that is going to be announced at some point of time, then what is that likely time?
While the other companies seem to make a public headway for their VR offerings, Apple has made nothing truly officially available to public yet.
Oculus Rift and HTC Vive is slated to sell their headsets to public already, will soon Google, Sony, Huawei follow the suit soon after. After that we have Hololens which is being provided to developers for testing is touted not to get publicly released until the later part of the year 2016.
Apple has traditionally announced the devices it sells in the same year. If there will be any open rumors about Apple VR announcement from Apple then we will definitely hear more rumors as the time progresses.
We can just hope to get some more information about the specifications, features, release date, price about the headset this year, but there is no word yet on a possible release date.
All those rumors are put aside, even if Apple really working on the next big thing on VR market, it is possible that we can expect VR /AR by the end of 2018. You may ask, how can i am so sure about it? Well, It’s Apple, they’re all about innovation and being top of the tech world. So, they will never want to left out in this VR game.
But the burning question is, Will you be ready by the time Apple’s next iconic release? Ready to pay the apple’s VR price (Price will not be any less, so be ready to pay your credit card bills soon)?
Please leave you answers below!