Calm Before The Storm

Ever since 2010, virtual reality has been at a boom. Whether it’s video games, movies, business, military training or even the healthcare industry, VR has taken the world by storm and everyone’s got their pick, from garage companies to multinationals. Starting with Oculus, which was soon purchased by Facebook, then HTC’s Vive series, Google with it’s Google glass and Lenovo helping various companies create their headsets. Valve finally joined the game with it’s monstrous headset, the Index and Microsoft pushing AR to new bounds with the Hololens. We see companies across the globe all jumping in the pool, however eyes still remain at the one company that distinguishes itself in terms of both build quality and software, the trillion dollar company itself…Apple Incorporated. Apple has come back and forth regarding it’s AR and VR headsets, which have still not been made public, neither in the form of a concept, nor in any of their presentations. However Apple HAS stated that they are in the works, however much of the internet gossip has lead people to believe that it’ll still be at least 5 years before we get to see a VR headset by Apple.

Apple headset design according to patents. filed in 2019.

So is Apple lacking, or waiting for opportunity to release a neatly finessed product as Apple always has? Tim Cook, Apple CEO recently stated that “Today I can tell you the technology itself doesn’t exist to do that in a quality way. The display technology required, as well as putting enough stuff around your face, there’s huge challenges with that. The field of view, the quality of the display itself, it’s not there yet.” Cook did, however, add that most technology challenges can be solved, but it takes time.” And honestly, we have to agree with Cook, half-hearted attempts at technology not only result in failed products, but also desecrate public opinions regarding the technology itself. Apple has always released key features and other technology in a later time than it’s rivals, but never in vain, since Apple fans know that once they receive the features, they’ll be in a better, more accurate, if not finalized form. This is obvious in Apple’s face recognition security unlock, which was featured in Android devices long ago, but would often run into faults and glitches.

Concept designs by artists show AR glasses similar to the Google glass.

So what do we know about Apple’s AR/VR headset so far? We know that Apple has acquired several companies over the past few years, including Akonia Holographics, PrimeSense, Metaio Technologies and a lot more. This will help Apple harness sufficient R&D from individual firms, and fuse it to produce an AR/VR headset beyond all others. Apple is also planning not only to create a VR/AR Headset, but also in time, create AR glasses similar to the Google glass. Furthermore, Apple has also in the December of 2018, hired Andrew Kim, former Tesla employee and the designer of Microsoft’s hololens. Can we expect AR glasses as portrayed by many artists online? With the synchronization with the Apple Watch? Or a high end gaming focused VR headset? Only time will tell what Apple is really up to.