iPhone company Apple is looking to expand its business into VR and AR, according to a new report. Bloomberg reports that the giant tech company might release a headset that combines virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) in 2021 or 2022. This headset would have a “focus on gaming.”
Bloomberg added that Apple currently employs a team of around 1,000 engineers who are working on the company’s various VR and AR projects. The team is said to be made up of executives who previously worked on Apple’s gaming projects, among other things. Former game developers and graphics “experts” are also on the team, as are former NASA engineers, according to the report. The team is said to be operating out of a “nondescript area” in Sunnyvale, California, which is close to Apple’s main HQ in Cupertino, California.
The new VR and AR technology will reportedly join other existing Apple wearable products such as AirPods, Beats headphones, and the Apple Watch. With iPhone sales slowing down, wearables are primed to take more of a focus at Apple going forward, it seems.
The Bloomberg report also claims that Apple is working on a new iPad for release in 2020 that would feature two camera sensors and a “small hole” for a new “3D system” that would allow people to create 3D models of objects, people, and rooms. This technology is also said to be introduced in high-end iPhones in 2020.
Apple has been a big player in gaming for a long time already. The company recently pushed further into gaming with its Apple Arcade subscription service.
Apple will be a latecomer to VR. Microsoft created a “mixed reality” headset that incorporates VR and AR called HoloLens. The headset could have interesting applications for gaming, but right now Microsoft is focusing on commercial instead of consumer use. In 2018, the US government paid Microsoft around $500 million for a contract to use HoloLens headsets to create new military equipment.