Apple is set to introduce major new augmented reality initiatives next year with new 3D rear sensors for the iPhone and the likely debut of Apple’s long-rumored AR headset product.
Bloomberg says Apple has “targeted” to launch the headset in 2020, featuring holographic displays in the lenses. The exact form factor and use cases for the headset is still unclear. Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo previously said that Apple would release an AR headset in mid-2020 with a “third-party brand collaboration.”
2020 is expected to be a big year for the iPhone with a new external design, the addition of 5G networking, and new time-of-flight 3D sensors for the rear camera that will help with augmented reality applications. The new 2020 iPhones are expected to feature OLED displays in new sizes: 5.4-inch, 6.1-inch, and 6.7-inch models.
The AR glasses project remains shrouded in mystery, even though an unveiling is apparently months away. We have seen plentiful examples of stereo AR headset support appearing in iOS 13 code, but we don’t know what the hardware will be like yet.
Bloomberg describes the headset as glasses “to display things such as texts, emails, maps, and games over the user’s field of vision.” However, the publication says that the release schedule for Apple’s AR hardware may be further delayed if executives decide it is not yet ready for prime time.
Bloomberg also reiterates previous claims that Apple will debut sleep tracking for Apple Watch in 2020, and may announce Macs that run on custom (presumably ARM-based) processors for the first time. Macs running ARM chips would help Apple control more of the core technology and has the potential to deliver significant improvements to MacBook battery life.
Apple has been ramping up its custom silicon initiatives over the last few years, with great success in the mobile space, with iPhone and iPad chips easily outpacing the competition. As well as ARM chips for its Macs, Apple is also working on its own in-house 5G cellular modem chips. The Apple modem is expected to be ready as soon as 2022. In the meantime, the 2020 and 2021 iPhones will use 5G modem chips designed by Qualcomm.
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