Rumors have been circulating for a while now that Apple is working on some kind of virtual or augmented reality headset. Today, MacRumors.com released photos that appear to be a controller for this Apple VR or AR headset.
The controller appears somewhat similar to a streamlined HTC Vive controller. Though even if it is real, the prototype is sure to change before consumers are ever meant to see it. For now, it’s a fairly simple design, with what appears to be one small face button near the center of the controller. The tip of the controller contains what appears to be a round trackpad like that found on the HTC Vive controller.
Apple VR has been a long time coming
Apple seems to have been working toward its own AR/VR headset for years now. In 2017, Bloomberg reported Apple was ramping up its work on an AR headset.
In November 2019, more reports came from Bloomberg that Apple hopes to release a headset combining AR and VR in 2021 or 2022. The report indicates 2023 may bring a pair of lightweight glasses making use of AR.
The controller leak comes off the heels of reported findings that Apple will be including a new AR experience app for iOS 14. These apps could be triggered by QR codes found throughout the world. One experience Apple is reportedly working on is one that turns a crosswalk into a virtual bowling alley people can throw a ball down to knock over pins.
This crosswalk minigame is apparently functioning at a crosswalk near an Apple office in Sunnyvale, CA.
While new technology is great, and Apple could certainly solidify the trend of VR and AR in a mainstream audience, one has to wonder if plans have been pushed back in the wake of coronavirus. With a potential hit to the manufacturing sector, as well as the potential for work to slow as people transition to working from home, the dates Bloomberg reported on in November may be pushed back.