Apple has reportedly partnered with Valve for its AR headset. The Digitimes report pegs the launch timeframe of the headset in the second half of 2020.
Taiwan’s Quanta Computer and Pegatron will be assembling the AR headset for Apple. A previous report had indicated that Apple will launch its AR headset in collaboration with third-party brands.
A launch in the second half of 2020 seems plausible since this is a timeframe that is also claimed by reputed Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. It is possible that we will see Apple unveil its AR headset at WWDC 2020.
Value announced its Valve Index VR headset earlier this year. However, as per the report, Apple’s collaboration with Valve will be on an AR headset as Tim Cook is more bullish about its success. Apple has already ramped up its hiring efforts for system interface, system architecture, and graphic designers for the AR software.
There are plenty of references to an AR headset in internal iOS 13 builds which all but confirm that Apple is indeed working on them. All the rumors so far point to Apple’s AR headset acting as a companion iPhone device instead of being a standalone unit. Due to power constraints, the AR headset will offload all processing to the iPhone it is paired with.
Apple has made a number of acquisitions in the field of AR/VR over the last few years and it will likely rely on the acquired technology to develop its first AR headset.
Ironically, today’s report from DigiTimes ends up contradicting their own report from earlier this year in which they claimed that Apple has terminated the development of its AR glasses and disbanded the team working on it.
At this point, it is all but clear that Apple is indeed working on AR glasses and if the development goes as per schedule, it should launch next year. The partnership with Valve will allow Apple to develop some games and apps that better showcase the benefits of the AR headset. Imagine playing a game like Portal 2 while wearing Apple’s AR glasses with your home or office acting as the game environment.