#Apple has been exploring #virtualreality and #augmentedreality technologies for more than 10 years, Apple's CEO Tim cook has expressed his interest on Augmented Reality & recently quoted "AR Is “Critically Important” For The Company's Future. Augmented reality will forever change the way we communicate" .
Apple is rumored to be working on at least two AR projects that include an augmented reality headset set to be released in right around 2022 followed by a sleeker pair of augmented reality glasses coming at a later date.
Many rumors have focused solely on the glasses, however, leading to some confusion about Apple's plans, but it appears the headset will be the first product launched.
The headset is AR/VR, while Apple's Glasses are augmented reality.
Ming-Chi Kuo has said that Apple's upcoming mixed reality headset will feature 15 optical camera modules in total. Eight of the 15 camera modules will be used for see-through augmented reality experiences, six modules will be used for "innovative biometrics," and one camera module will be used for environmental detection.
Kuo has also said that Apple's headset will be equipped with an advanced eye-tracking system used to provide an intuitive visual experience that interacts seamlessly with the external environment, along with more intuitive operation that can be controlled with eye movements and reduced computational burden in the form of a reduced resolution where the user is not looking.
There is no word yet on whether Apple's headset will be able to support iris recognition, but Kuo says that based on hardware specifications, an iris recognition feature should be possible. If this can be implemented, Kuo expects users will be able to use it for a "more intuitive Apple Pay method" when using headsets.
Apple's work on virtual and augmented reality dates back multiple years, but rumors picked up starting in March of 2015 when news hit that Apple had a small team of people working on augmented reality. In 2015 and into early 2016, Apple's team grew as the company hired employees with expertise in AR/VR technology and made multiple related acquisitions.
Apple's AR/VR team includes several hundred engineers from across Apple, all of whom have expertise in virtual and augmented reality. The team works across office parks in both Cupertino and Sunnyvale, and Apple is exploring several hardware and software projects under the code name "T288."
Apple's augmented reality team combines "the strengths of its hardware and software veterans," and is led by Mike Rockwell, who came from Dolby. Former employees of companies like Oculus, HoloLens, Amazon (from the VR team), 3D animation company Weta Digital, and Lucasfilm are working on AR at Apple.
There are also many camera and optical lens engineers along with hardware talent who are sourcing raw materials for projects like Apple's AR glasses. And while Apple seems to be focusing on augmented reality, at least some of the team is working on virtual reality projects.
Apple developers have also joined the WebVR community group dedicated to make VR content viewable on any device and on the web.
No Doubt Apple's AR Glasses is one of the most anticipated product, but we will have to wait and see if Apple's AR Glasses has utility more than our smartphone & laptops plus compelling enough for us to wear full day.