Apple is reportedly developing an augmented reality headset, and new evidence of such a device has just surfaced online.
Over the past few years, we've seen several reports claiming Apple is making an AR headset or AR glasses, with the goal of releasing it by 2020 or 2021. You can read more about these reports in our round-up. But if you want recent proof, look at this newly granted Apple patent. The USPTO approved an AR-related patent that describes a "method for representing points of interest in a view of a real environment on a mobile device".
There is no direct reference to an Apple-branded AR headset or AR glasses, but the patent does mention a "head-mounted display" that would be able to overlay computer-generated data onto a real-world environment. The headset depicted in the patent would have a camera that can identify and mark points of interest, such as a building. One illustration shows the head-mounted display earmarking these in the viewer with a label.
So, imagine you're looking at a skyscraper, Apple's device could identify it for you and maybe serve up helpful, contextual information about it.
In another illustration, an iPhone can be seen with even more information about a point of interest. Keep in mind these patent illustrations are examples and wouldn't be an exact replica of device Apple is actively making. Apple also files many patent applications every month, and most of them don't come to fruition. Still, they suggest Apple is at least considering an AR headset or AR glasses and how such a product work.
Bloomberg previously reported that Apple's incoming AR headset will use a custom operating system dubbed "rOS", and that the headset would wirelessly connect to an iPhone. But we've yet to see any hardware leaks, so little else is known at this point. We will keep you posted.