A new report from an analyst close to Apple claims that the Apple will release an augmented reality (AR) device in 2020.
Mr. Guo Minghao, a former analyst at KGI Securities and a current one at Tianfeng Securities, told investors that Apple's AR device would come to market as soon as the end of 2019 but more likely in the first half of 2020. Most importantly, he claimed that the device would require an iPhone, meaning that it would essentially rely on the iPhone for processing. This means that the device - no matter its design - will just provide a remote display for an iPhone. Obviously, the device will be wirelessy connected with an iPhone, which will also handle all the processing, networking, and indoor and outdoor positioning to be handled by the iPhone. Although that could sound dissapinting for Apple fans, it could allow the Apple to make the AR device (headset or glasses) to be lightweight. It would also result to an overall lower retail price compared to current AR offerings like Microsoft’s HoloLens. The device will also have more chances to succeed, taking advantage of the popularity and mobility of Apple’s iPhone.
Previous reports suggested that Apple's AR device would have its own display and run on a new chip and operating system.
Augmented reality superimposes virtual content over a view of the real world and has been praised by Apple Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook. Apple first demonstrated interest in the field with ARKit software on iPhones and iPads, which allows apps to integrate the technology.
Apple is been also known to have filed for many patents related to AR hardware. One involves a method by which the Apple Glasses display can be overlaid on a car’s windshield, providing a dynamic heads-up display for the riders.
The company has been also reported to be planning a 3-D-based AR camera for iPhones in 2020 and has a team of hundreds of engineers working on an AR headset and operating system.
Last August, Apple acquired Akonia Holographics LLC, a six-year-old maker of displays for augmented-reality glasses. Akonia's "HoloMirror" technology is designed to project full-color images onto the transparent glass lenses of augmented-reality headsets.