Tim Cook, Apple’s Chief Executive spoke about the potential of augmented reality (AR) on Apple devices at the Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC) on Tuesday last week.
Tim also complimented technological innovations led by Chinese application developers, he said in an interview with China Daily.
In the chat with China Daily Reporter Ma Si, Tim explained,
“I am incredibly excited about AR as you may know, and the critical thing in any technology, including AR, is putting humanity at the center of it. That is what we focus on every day”
Considering humanity and ethics in the extended reality (XR) and Metaverse landscape affects many immersive firms and thought leaders.
Companies such as Unity Technologies run humanities fundraisers and awards showcases, and Meta Platforms is building an ethical metaverse after users reported disruptive behaviour in virtual environments.
Currently, Apple supports many AR experiences on its iPhone and iPad mobile devices, many which contain a powerful Lidar scanner that accurately detects environments, people, and objects to project AR visualisations in the real world.
Most importantly, Apple supports mobile AR experiences aimed at consumers, leading to many social media and gaming opportunities. However, consumer-focused avenues also present rich and engaging marketing opportunities for brands on platforms like Snapchat.
Furthermore, remote guidance vendors such as Arvizio and Taqtile employ Apple’s AR-ready mobile devices to improve communications for dispersed workforces and enhance the distribution of big data assets like digital twins. Additionally, Apple has supplied its Lidar scanners to other XR firms, including drone services for preservation and surveying.
Current AR Opportunities from Apple
Apple currently enables immersive content creators to design AR experiences without prior coding knowledge. According to Cook, the Cupertino-based firm offers developers “14,000 AR kit apps” that provide an “AR experience for millions of consumers worldwide.”
“I could not be more excited about the opportunities in the space. Sort of stay tuned and you will see what we have to offer”
The news comes after Apple filed a trademark for its Reality OS operating system in May, which was designed for peripherals, software, and wearable computer hardware. Reality OS is an immersive software development space for upcoming and pre-existing Apple hardware, according to reports.
Additionally, Cook praised the work of Chinese immersive application developers, stating,
“Chinese developers have always been at the cutting-edge, and continue to grow. I can’t wait to see what they are going to do next”
Currently, China is helping to drive AR and other immersive technology. Aside from its strong developer community, the region also hosts ByteDance, the parent company of Pico Interactive and Tik Tok.
The Chinese firm is expanding into US territories to enhance the worldwide distribution of Pico headsets following a successful AR campaign on Tik Tok.
Nreal is also expanding outside of mainland China, namely after the smart glasses vendor recently debuted its Air product in the United Kingdom following a series of legal challenges before successfully entering the US market.
Where is Apple’s AR Headset?
During its WWDC event, Apple did not unveil an AR headset, despite consent rumours. Initially, rumours persisted, suggesting that Apple would release its device in 2022, but the potential release window has been delayed to roughly 2022 or 2023.
Numerous patent filings from the tech giant and consistent online industry analysts’ insights are fuelling speculation. Insiders revealed that Apple recently previewed a near-finished AR headset to board members, including Cook.
Additionally last month, LG ordered numerous XR components to develop displays in a bid to create a supply deal with Apple, replacing current display providers Sony.