WSJ: Apple to unveil augmented reality hardware 'in the coming weeks'

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When Apple takes the stage tomorrow at its new "space ship" headquarters, it won't be only iPhones and smart watches announced, it seems. The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Apple will be making a grander push into augmented reality, as per CEO Tim Cook's promise, complete with new hardware and software that will be unveiled "in the coming weeks." The company already unveiled the a software development kit dubbed simply ARKit, for creating augmented reality apps or games, but it is the claim that there will be new AR hardware by Apple that piques our interest.

Tim Cook is already on record saying that augmented reality will be "one of those huge things that we’ll look back at and marvel on the start of it," indicating a deep interest and commitment to the possibilities that imposing virtual objects on the real world could offer. So, what could this new hardware be? Is it the iPhone X with its vertically placed dual camera that is said to facilitate augmented reality recordings and projection in landscape mode? Could it be a dedicated piece like the smart glasses Apple patented not long ago?

Some analysts remain skeptical about Apple's first foray into augmented reality glasses, and say that Apple is at 2-3 years away from fitting the sensors and equipment required by ARKit in such a product. As for the phone-based AR, Matt Miesnieks from Super Ventures quips that "people don’t really understand the constraints of smartphone AR, and they have wildly inflated expectations at the moment of what’s realistic." It remains to be seen, but with Apple jumping on the AR bandwagon, we are soon to see a flood of such apps from big names like IKEA or popular game devs, and in a year from now we might all be placing virtual sofas around the house to see where they look best, at least on our iPhone screens.

source: WSJ

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