Apple has been exploring virtual reality and augmented reality technologies for more than 10 years based on patent filings,  File picture: IANS
Apple has been exploring virtual reality and augmented reality technologies for more than 10 years based on patent filings, File picture: IANS

Apple: Everything you need to know about Apple Glass, headsets and the new phone

By IOL Tech reporter Time of article published Jun 30, 2020

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There is much excitement around Apple's latest developments. 

The company has been exploring virtual reality and augmented reality technologies for more than 10 years based on patent filings, but now with the popularity of virtual and augmented reality gaining momentum, Apple's dabbling is growing more serious and could lead to an actual dedicated AR/VR product in the future.

Apple has been rumored to be working on multiple virtual and augmented reality headset prototypes as engineers search for the "most compelling application" for such a device... and current rumour indicate that Apple's first product will be an augmented reality headset and/or glasses.

According to The Information, the augmented reality headset set to be released in 2022 followed by a sleeker pair of augmented reality glasses coming in 2023.

AR Smart Glasses

Apple is working on a set of augmented reality glasses, which Leaker Jon Prosser has suggested Apple will call the smart glasses the "Apple Glass." 

The glasses are said to look similar to regular glasses, with both lenses to feature displays that can be interacted with using gestures. 

Bloomberg has reported the Apple glasses will run "rOS" or reality operating system. rOS is said to be based on iOS, the operating system that runs on the iPhone. 

For the AR headset, Apple is developing a "system-on-a-package" chip similar to what's in the Apple Watch, though it will rely on the iPhone as mentioned above.

Apple is testing its AR equipment with an iOS 14 app called Gobi along with QR codes to test augmented reality experiences. 

According to Taiwanese site DigiTimes, Apple is partnering with game developer Valve for its rumored AR headset. Valve released its first VR headset, Valve Index, in April 2019.

What is the difference between augmented reality and virtual reality?

Augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) are similar but differ in one major way. Virtual reality refers to a full immersive experience in a virtual world, while augmented reality refers to a modified view of the real world.

Google Glass is an example of augmented reality. The eye-worn Google Glass let users view the world as it is, but it offered a heads-up display that overlaid relevant computer-provided information over that real world view, such as local weather, maps, and notifications.

Augmented reality provides computer-generated context and information about the world around us while allowing us to interact with our surroundings.

It is also believed that Apple analyst Ming-chi Kuo is claiming that the iPhones due to be released later this year won’t have chargers or EarPods in the box. 

According to a report from The Verge,  Steven Yang, the CEO of Anker said in-box chargers result in tons of e-waste.

"[Say] every smartphone has a charger with it. We had 1.5 billion smartphones that shipped last year. ... That’s only for phones. When we have tablets, laptops, power drills, [and more], we estimate a total of four billion chargers (were shipped last year). We estimate about 300,000 tons of e-waste just from these in-box chargers."

IOL TECH

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