Following a report from The Information earlier today, Bloomberg is now out with a report on Apple’s plans for augmented reality. Bloomberg says that Apple’s push into augmented reality will pick up next year with a new iPad Pro, with AR headsets and glasses to follow.
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The report says that a new iPad Pro could be released “as early as the first half of 2020.” Bloomberg says the new iPad Pro will feature a dual-lens camera setup, as well as a “small hole for the 3D system.” Ming-Chi Kuo first reported in November of last year that the iPad Pro would add time-of-flight 3D sensors.
Supply chain reports had suggested that the new iPad Pro models would feature a triple-lens camera, but today’s report says to expect a dual-camera setup with the new 3D system technology. Bloomberg also says that the 2020 iPhones will feature 3D sensor technology, as well as 5G connectivity, as has been previously reported.
The new 3D sensor system is described as “the centerpiece” of Apple’s AR initiatives and a “more advanced version of the Face ID sensor” currently used on the iPhone and iPad.
From there, this afternoon’s report says that Apple aims to release a “combined VR and AR headset with a focus on gaming, watching video and virtual meetings” in 2021 or 2022. From there, Apple will roll out a “lightweight pair of AR glasses as early as 2023,” the report says.
Bloomberg also has details on the team working on Apple’s AR efforts:
Apple has about 1,000 engineers working on the AR and VR initiative, which is led by vice president Mike Rockwell, Bloomberg News has reported. The multi-disciplinary team is part of Apple’s hardware engineering division, but has its own leadership with executives who have worked on Apple’s gaming software system, earlier iPhone hardware, software engineering and manufacturing.
The team also has ex-NASA engineers, former game developers and graphics experts. It is based in a nondescript area of Sunnyvale, California, not far from Apple’s main campus in Cupertino.
Apple had originally planned to have its first AR headset ready for debut by 2019 and release in 2020, but it “recently decided to push that back.”
The full report from Bloomberg can be read here.
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