By Dig Om on Wed, 02/15/2017
The latest rumors continue to indicate that Apple is actively developing some sort of VR or AR headset. Virtual Reality is a completely immersive, 3D visual (and sometimes auditory) experience. If you didn't know, VR is poised to change many things in our modern world; from interactive educational and training apps, to video games, movies, and sports.
If you've been even somewhat tuned into tech developments over the past five years, you are probably already familiar with the early entrants in the VR arena. These would include the Facebook/Oculus Rift, Playstation VR, the Samsung/Oculus Gear VR, and Google's Cardboard which is not only compatible with most smartphones, but at $15, it puts VR in the price range of just about everyone.
In addition, the App Store already has a small but respectable selection of VR apps that is growing steadily, many of which are free—all the more reason to get your virtual feet wet. Some of them are quite good!
Augmented reality, is similar to VR, but less immersive as it superimposes digitally generated images over the real world. It is another area that is growing rapidly, and Google's Glasses and Microsoft's Hololens are exciting precursors of things to come over the next several years.
We've known for a while that Apple has been filing for patents pertaining to VR and AR, but new reports from reliable sources hint that it won't be too much longer before we might actually get our first glimpse of what Apple has up its sleeve. From what I understand prototypes are already being tested and a product may be unveiled by 2018. Although I can't wait to see Apple unveil a VR headset, some of the current rumors are leaning more toward the company unveiling a pair of AR glasses first, so we'll just have to wait and see how things play out.
Either way, these are exciting developments to consider, and far from surprising to someone who has been plugged into the Apple rumor mill for years. The fact of the matter is that it is about time. Although Apple has demonstrated an unarguable propensity for coming late to a party and then stealing the show, it's certainly questionable as to how long that street will hold. Considering all of the other companies that have already released VR/AR products to the public, it's nice to imagine that Apple is finally preparing to roll up its leeves and enter the fray in the rapidly growing virtual arena.
As bonus eye candy, take a look at this commercial from Samsung, which debuted during Super Bowl this year. It boggles the imagination to consider what Apple could do with this technology. I only hope that with whatever Apple is developing, that it doesn't initially limit itself to a Google Glass knock off. Not that such a product is a bad idea per se, but it's not exactly the most immersive of experiences and I suspect the public is still hungry for a full-fledged, fully immersive, iPhone-compatible VR experience. Not to mention the Google Glass didn't exactly disrupt and revolutionize the marketplace in any meaningful or lasting way. Stay tuned to iPhone Life, you can bet that we will keep you posted on the latest developments as Apple continues to inch closer to the release of its own branded VR product.
The Raid on Samsung's Gear VR: