Apple has long been rumored to be working on a pair of augmented reality glasses, but a report today suggests that they’re looking to compete with Google, Microsoft and Facebook in the virtual reality space as well.
CNET reports that Apple has its eye set on the 2020 release of a wireless headset that combines AR and VR technologies. The report also gives specific details for the project internally referred to as T288. Namely, sources told CNET that the headset will have an 8K display for each eye and will connect wirelessly to a dedicated “box.”
One of the general assumptions many in the market had been operating under was that Apple might “skip” entertainment-focused VR altogether in favor of approaching the lifestyle-focused AR technologies that put a digital layer between users and the real world.
I’m fairly skeptical that they would combine these two initiatives as this report suggests; I find it more likely that the “AR” described to CNET is closer to the “mixed reality” technologies that Microsoft has implemented into its VR headsets, basically tech that can take in more environmental information to influence the in-headset VR experience. This is in line with what Vrvana was working on before Apple acquired them last year. For Apple to truly merge AR and VR at the resolutions detailed, they would likely need a fairly bulky design that I would be surprised to see them pursue with an AR product.