Augmented reality enthusiasts expecting AR hardware revealed at Apple's annual iPhone launch event may not have to wait much longer.
On Wednesday, TF Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo noted a report that Apple's hardware lineup 2020 will include an iPad Pro with rear-mounted time for flight sensor and the debut of the company's long-rumored and eagerly awaited AR headset.
Kuo writes that Apple will unveil its AR headset in the second quarter of 2020, which would coincide with the company's timeframe for the Worldwide Developers Conference. The note from the analyst appeared by CNBC, citing Chinese-language news site MyDrivers. According to the report, the company will partner with third-party brands to produce the AR headset, which is expected to begin production in the fourth quarter of 2020.
Prior to the AR laptop, Apple is reportedly releasing an iPad Pro with a depth sensor in the first quarter 2020.
The report is the latest development of two expected hardware developments that have taken place in recent years.
The new depth camera would provide iPad Pro world mapping capabilities that match what the TrueDepth camera on the iPhone X and 11 series devices provides for the front camera. Similarly, the sensor's debut on an iPad, as opposed to an iPhone, would provide users with a larger screen for AR experiences.
But the arrival of Apple's AR portable, whether it is a head-mounted display or smartglass variation, has been gestating for some time, with rumors driven by Apple's AR patent applications, mounting of its internal AR team, and corporate acquisitions .
With its ARKit platform now in its third generation, Apple has already laid the foundation for AR software. Furthermore, with the TrueDepth camera and the U1 chip for spatial awareness, Apple has established a test site for its dedicated AR hardware with its existing mobile ecosystem.
Consensus among analyst reports, including previous notes from Kuo, has estimated that the AR unit will arrive in 2020. But now 2020 is much closer, which, if the reports are true, will likely put pressure on Apple CEO Tim Cook and his team to deliver – great.
Cover concept image via Taeyeon Kim / Behance