Virtual reality and mobile seem to go together in 2018, with devices such as Samsung's Gear VR and Google's DayDream now available to Android users – but what about those who use iPhones? Of course, there are third-party mobile viewers that offer a basic VR experience, but that's nothing compared to what Samsung and Google offer to Android users. If Apple can provide AR high-end experiences with ARKit, when will it do with virtual reality?
That could change so. For years, Apple has been rumored to develop a VR headset – in fact, there has been a whole series of hirings related to virtual reality, patents and others that suggest that something is in course. Here we discuss all the latest Apple VR headset news with rumors of possible release date and acquisiti information, such as its recent acquisiti of the Vrvana headset boot.
If Apple does not develop a VR headset then there are chances that it advertises an AR headset instead – you can find out more about Apple's AR glasses here. Alternatively, the company can launch a helmet that combines in e way or another the VR and AR capabilities.
If you're a VR fan, you might also be interested in our best iOS VR games and apps.
Apple VR Headset: Release Date
Apple plans to launch a headset capable of handling both VR and AR technology in 2020, cnet reports, citing a pers familiar with Apple's plans.
to check a Bloomberg report from November 2017 that suggested Apple would have an AR headset ready to ship in early 2020. The device is supposed to include a display, run a chip, and have its own system d & # 39; operati.
The cnet report appears to build the previous Bloomberg report, but suggests that in e way or another the device will combine VR and AR capabilities.
How exactly can a device give both AR and VR experience yet?
What is the difference between VR and AR?
This questi requires a quick reminder of the terms, as there is some cfusi about the difference between augmented reality and virtual reality. VR helmets are mounted the head in the same way as ski masks, and completely block your visi of the outside world. The VR headset follows the movement of your head and the 3D images displayed inside the helmet move accordingly. This gives the impressi that you are entirely in a virtual 3D world.
Virtual reality made headlines in the 1990s when video game companies like Sega and Nintendo tried to create and sell VR products to the public. The technology was not ready at the time, but a more recent attempt called Oculus Rift created by Oculus VR in 2012 was developed with modern 3D technology and the development has been seducing people ever since. Eventually, Facebook bought Oculus VR in 2014 for over $ 2 billi, and the VR headset is now available to buy in the UK.
Augmented reality, the other hand, is where the glasses are transparent and you can still see the world around you, but an image is displayed before your eyes.
Apple is known to be a pieer, but it is still part of the Silic Valley technology industry (albeit more secretly). If Google, Facebook and Microsoft are all working VR and AR solutis, you can bet that your Apple also has a prototype in its labs.
This definiti certainly does not bring us closer to the way Apple could achieve both VR and AR from e device. To understand more, we will look at the features of the new device below, but first, where is the proof?
Proof that Apple is working a VR headset
Rumors about Apple developing a virtual reality headset are circulating for years. In fact, the rumors began lg before the news Apple's AR glasses began to turn (we address these allegatis in a separate story).
We will review below the evidence that Apple's VR interests extend to hardware development.
In November 2014, Apple released a job offer for experienced applicati engineers in 3D graphics, virtual reality and augmented reality. The job offer was quickly removed, but it specifically asked developers to create high-performance applicatis that integrate with virtual reality systems for prototyping and user testing.
Since then, Apple has recruited a relatively large number of employees. for his virtual reality project, including Nick Thomps, a Microsoft engineer who worked HoloLens audio equipment for three years. Apple also hired Bennett Wilburn, another Microsoft employee, who was focusing "computer-based learning technology for recognizing human activities" with his previous experience including Lytro and Huawei
and the likes of Microsoft. other Apple employees. , a man csidered a leader in the field of 3D user interfaces. Previously, he worked as an IT teacher at Virginia Tech and led the School's Human-Computer Interacti Center. Finally, we have Graham Myhre, a man who previously worked at Lytro to develop specialized lenses and sensors, but who "is studying new display and optical technologies for future generatis of Apple products." That's at least what his LinkedIn says
As reported by Business Insider, Apple also hired Zeyu Li, who previously worked at Magic Leap's AR boot. Yury Petrov was also hired, a man who had previously worked Oculus.
Apple has since made another high-level hiring for its AR / VR business – this time from the company that provided the graphics processor for the iPhone 7. Apple cfirmed in March 2016 that it was interested in the purchase of Imaginati Technology, but this has never worked – and it seems that it did not really matter, because the company seems to have gotten what She wanted.
The company hired several senior executives of the company, the most notable of which is John Metcalfe, Chief Operating Officer of Imaginary Technology. According to his LinkedIn profile, he has been working at Apple since July 2016, leaving the computer after nearly 20 years. It is speculated that Metcalfe and others are working a new GPU to fuel the AR / VR experience that Apple anticipates, although there is no new information beyd that. of the.
Apparently, Apple now has a team of several hundred engineers headed by Mike Rockwell, who previously led engineering at Dolby Labs. According to Bloomberg sources, the team is working several hardware and software projects under the code name "T288".
The same team worked ARKit. A tool that allows software developers to create AR applicatis for iPhone and iPad.
Apple's interest in virtual reality has also been marked by its many acquisitis of companies in this sector.
e of the largest and most popular acquisitis of Apple dates back to 2013, when the company bought PrimeSense, the company that developed the original Xbox Kinect, for an impressive $ 345 milli of dollars. It is a huge amount of mey to buy a business for a technology that might not be used, in our opini, anyway. While many thought that this would be related to Apple TV, and some of the technology ended up being used in the iPhone X for facial scanning technology that makes FaceID possible, that is a technology well suited to a VR / AR helmet. 19659002] Apple acquired Faceshift in November 2015. Faceshift has created the moti capture technology used in Star Wars movies. The company is known for developing software that allows CGI-animated 3D characters to "copy" the facial expressis of the actor. Although this probably helped Apple with the Animoji feature of the iPhone X, it could also be related to a virtual / augmented reality headset.
In August 2017, Apple acquired SensoMotoric Instruments. Although it is not a known name, the German company specializes in eye-tracking technology. Indeed, the company was present at CES 2017 in Las Vegas presenting modified HTC Vive and Gear VR helmets equipped with eye-tracking technology. As usual, Apple has cfirmed the purchase but has not disclosed its intentis for its assets, but it says a lot about its upcoming VR projects.
Then in November 2017, according to TechCrunch, Apple bought a VR headset startup named Vrvana for about $ 30 milli. Vrvana manufactures a helmet called Totem that he describes as an "extended reality", which means a combinati of VR and AR.
VR in macOS High Sierra
Apple has also paid a lot of attenti to virtual reality through its hardware and Mac software. The company has focused virtual reality at WWDC 2017 – promoting the ability for developers to develop VR games based Metal 2 (an exclusive engine for Mac, iPhone and iPad) with macOS High Sierra.
that it would provide support for the creati of VR ctent in High Sierra (which was launched in September), allowing developers to create immersive games, 3D and VR the Mac. Mac developers can use devices such as the HTC Vive VR headset and applicatis like Final Cut X Pro, SteamVR, Epic Unreal 4 Editor and Unity Editor to create immersive games.
Although not all Macs are capable of supporting VR ctent, the iMac 2017 with 5K Retina display, the new iMac Pro and any supported Macs coupled with an external GPU can do it  GPUs have been delayed until the update of MacOS 10.13 High Sierra in the spring of 2018 and the additi of support for external graphics cards to some Macs. Supported maps are:
- AMD Rade RX 570
- AMD Rade RX 580
- AMD Rade Pro WX 7100
- AMD Rade RX Vega 56
- AMD Rade RX Vega 64
- AMD Vega Frtier Editi Air
- AMD Rade Pro WX 9100
Steam optimizes its SteamVR platform for macOS and allows the cnecti of the HTC Vive headset. At the WWDC 2017 keynote, a Valve representative went stage to demstrate the StarWars demo. Mac and use a HTC Vive headset.
Apple is also working to bring the Unity and Unreal 3D game engines to the Mac.
What better way for Apple to present its range of VR Metal 2 games than with its
Apple's Tim Cook VR
While people speculated that Apple will be making a headset Virtual reality for a while, it's ly in 2016 that the company has officially recognized its interest in the virtual reality market. During Apple's quarterly earnings cference call in January 2016, Apple CEO Tim Cook asked a questi about virtual reality. His answer? " In terms of VR, I do not think it's a niche, it's really cool and it has some interesting applicatis. "
Ok, so what is not altogether cfirmati that the company is actively developing a virtual reality headset, but let's look at the past. In 2014, before the announcement of the Apple TV update, Tim Cook said that televisi was an area in which Apple had a "great interest" – a year later, Apple TV had its own App Store and gaming capabilities.
Cook also called the idea of "interesting" smartwatches in 2013, well before the launch of the Apple Watch. So, as we said, this is not a cfirmati, but it gives us a good idea of what to expect in the near future.
Apple employees visit a VR lab
If Apple does not develop a virtual reality headset, then why did it send employees to the University's Virtual Human Interacti Lab? Stanford repeatedly over the course of three mths? As reported by the Wall Street Journal, director Jeremy Bailens made this remark about Apple visiting the center at a Wall Street Journal cference in California
The Virtual Human Interacti Stanford University-based Lab Mark Zuckerburg, CEO of Facebook, even went until shortly before the acquisiti of Oculus.
Speaking at the event, Bailens said: "Apple has not been to my lab for 13 years – except that they have come three times over the past year. last three mths, they come and do not say a word, but there is a data point for you. "
As always, Apple remains discreet the subject but this, with the comments made by Tim Cook claiming that VR is not a niche and that it has some interesting applicatis, suggests that an Apple brand virtual reality headset is in progress, although it might still be far away.
Develop a virtual reality head
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Apple VR Headset: Price
It's hard to predict what an Apple VR headset will cost, and even more if this rumor circulates The helmet combines AR and VR capabilities. However, we expect that when it launches Apple's AR headset will have a high price, as Apple does not have the habit of making budget gadgets.
Looking at other VR headsets the market, such as the HTC Vive, could give the other end of the AR / VR scale, the Microsoft HoloLens glasses cost $ 3,000 (about 2,193 £) or $ 5,000 (approximately £ 3,655) for the commercial suite which includes business functis.
And the Google Glass Enterprise Editi costs $ 1,828 (about £ 1,336).
The Apple VR Headset: Design
We do not know much about VR headset design. Despite claims that there are already prototypes
A Financial Times report of January 2016 claimed that Apple had already successfully developed a virtual reality prototype, and was actively testing it behind closed doors – no doubt by the VR recruiters mentied above. The FT source however is not detailed what we can expect from Apple's apparently forthcoming headset, however.
I hope the design has arrived since this patent was filed in 2007 …
Apple VR Headset: Specs
There are some circulating rumors that could give an indicati of what to expect from the Apple VR headset. 19659020] Viewing
A cnet report dated April 2018 asserted that Apple's headset will use 8K displays for each eye. This may seem a little exaggerated, but apparently the 8K displays will make the VR and AR images more realistic and thus avoid the feeling of nausea that may result from the use of these headphes.
The cnet report suggests that the headset will not require the use of a computer or a smartphe.
Cnet's source said the headset will require a dedicated box powered by a custom Apple processor to which it will cnect via "wide-range wireless technology." The box will use 60GHz WiGig wireless technology. Although the 60GHz signal does not typically enter the walls, it can diffuse reflectis from walls, ceilings, floors, and objects by forming beams, which could determine the positi of a space in a room.
users will not need to install various base statis around a room to allow a headset to determine their locati (as is the case with HTC Vive ).
According to cnet, the box will include a 5 nanometer processor. Apple will design the chip internally and the chip will be similar to the chips that Apple is supposed to develop for its Macs, with a change of Intel planned for 2020.
The Apple VR Headset: Software  The new headset will use the operating system, which Apple refers to as rOS (r for reality). It is based iOS, according to Bloomberg.
The software group 'rOS & # 39; is headed by Geoff Stahl, who was previously a software manager for games and graphics at Apple, suggesting that the game will be a major feature of this headset.
Apple apparently intends to give the headset its own versi of the App Store, where users would be able to download ctent, according to Bloomberg
Apple VR headset patents
The filing suggests that Apple's VR system could "provide immersive VR experiences by replacing the real-world view with virtual envirments. "
This virtual reality system will react to moti and use the data to enhance the virtual reality experience, apparently, we assume it means you could travel by car but see scenes that fit at the speed of travel.
Patent seems to suggest that technology could be used to relieve moti sickness (rather than provoke it!)
This particular patent seems to be related to Apple's plans for an automous car (a project code name Titan) as a way to entertain passengers lg trips.If the car stopped at traffic lights, for example, this would be integrated with the game (hopefully). that the zombies will not catch you.)
But Apple has filed patents related to virtual reality for many years.This patent goes back to 2007 and suggests that a VR helmet might look like lunett ski (according to the picture above). To enhance the comfort of the user, the eyewear system can include breathable compents, including for example a breathable foam that rests against the face of the user, and can allow the user to move the display generati compents for alignment. In some embodiments, the spectacle system may include data processing circuitry operating to adjust the left and right images generated by the optical compents to display the 3D media or to take into account the limitatis of the user's view. . "
2013, Apple Patent (USPTO 8,605,008) surfaced.This patent describes a headset.The abstract speaks of a mask system for providing a multimedia viewing experience to a user, who can understand an outer cover, a half-frame, optical compents to generate the multimedia display and a lens which the image generated the displayed medium is provided to the user. "
It is worth noting Probability between the Apple VR headset and a standard pair of glasses because most cases VR skins look like a ski mask and block all the visi of the sides of your eyes for a more immersive experience. Of course, it is ly a patent and the design is likely to change again before publicati.