Apple has expressed a deep interest in augmented reality in recent years and has taken a big step into space with frameworks such as ARKit and RealityKit, creative tools such as Reality Composer and Reality Converter, and hardware such as the LiDAR scanner on the new iPad Pro and probably some iPhone 12 models.
Several reports have indicated that Apple also plans to release a combined AR / VR headset by 2021 or 2022, and MacRumors has found 14 circulating significant evidence of this project circulating in a leaked build of iOS.
MacRumors received a photo of an apparently generic looking controller for an AR / VR headset from iOS 1
Given the basic design of the controller, we suspect that this is the case only for internal testing purposes. Apple's consumer controller would probably be much more sophisticated.
Earlier this month it was reported that iOS 14 included a new augmented reality app codenamed "Gobi" and we believe Apple is using this app along with QR codes to test it Augmented reality experiences on the AR / VR headset. There are QR codes that trigger experiences with the Apple Watch, the Mac Pro, the Apple Store, Starbucks and a movie poster.
A particularly interesting augmented reality experience that Apple is testing is a "crosswalk bowling game" that we believe Apple engineers can roll a virtual bowling ball across the crosswalk to, to virtual bowling pins on top of each other Knocking down the street while waiting for the pedestrian light to change from stop to stop.
This crosswalk bowling game can only be triggered at an intersection near a well-known Apple office as "Mathilda 3" at 555 N Mathilda Ave in Sunnyvale, California, may be one of the locations where Apple is developing its AR / VR headset. This office is located approximately five miles from the company's Apple Park headquarters in nearby Cupertino.
All of this indicates that Apple remains heavily invested in its AR / VR headset project, despite the ongoing pandemic that has forced many Apple engineers to work from home for now, may have slowed down recently.
that a custom HTC Vive Focus Controller? Strange 🤨 I think HTC supports Apple with AR technology? But why? https://t.co/IvuyQwNGwD pic.twitter.com/IdeU7ezumQ
– Steve Troughton-Smith (@stroughtonsmith) March 26, 2020