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Apple Shelves its Plans to Develop AR, VR Headsets

Apple temporarily halts its AR, VR dream: Report

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Apple, Campus, China
A customer is entering the Apple store in Fairfax, Virginia. VOA

In what could be bad news for the tech industry, Apple has reportedly shelved plans to develop its Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) headsets.

According to Taiwan-based portal DigiTimes that cited people familiar with the situation, the Apple team working on the AR/VR project has been temporarily disbanded and “reassigned to other product lines”.

“Supply chain-related companies said that Apple is adjusting R&D resources, and the development team for AR/VR headsets has been disbanded and transferred to other product lines,” claimed the report.

It suggests that the discontinuation of the AR project happened after Microsoft HoloLens co-creator Avi Bar-Zeev left as Apple’s AR headset development team in January.

Several reports in the past have claimed that the iPhone maker is serious about launching AR glasses as early as 2020, including the Apple famed analyst Ming-Chi Kuo.

Apple’s launch of ARkit for iOS developers has been seen as a big step for the company to enter the AR industry.

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The Apple logo is shown outside the company’s Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco, California. VOA

“Apple’s temporary termination of hardware development of AR/VR headsets does not mean that it is not optimistic about the prospects of AR/VR,” said the report, adding that the timing may not be ripe at this stage.

Apple CEO Tim Cook has always been bullish on AR.

“AR and ML will be key to delivering the right information to the right person at the right time,” Cook said recently as he announced expanded partnership with SAP.

In the new update, Apple ARKit, the company’s AR development platform which could only recognise horizontal surfaces while placing virtual objects, gets support to identify vertical objects.

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“ARKit can now recognise and place virtual objects on vertical surfaces. Using advanced computer vision techniques to find and recognise the position of 2D images ARKit can integrate these real world images into AR experiences,” the Cupertino-based giant said.

ARKit 3, RealityKit and the Reality Composer are other advanced tools designed by Apple to make it even easier for developers to create compelling AR experiences for consumer and business apps. (IANS)

Next Story

Apple Introducing Disability-Themed Emojis for its Keyboard

The new emojis would be made available this fall with a free software update on Apple devices

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FILE - Emoji characters are shown on the screens of two mobile phones in Paris, Aug. 6, 2015. VOA

In a bid to bring more diversity to its keyboards, Apple is rolling out 59 new emojis to its keyboard for iPhones, iPads, Macs and Apple Watches this fall.

In a major update to the “couples holding hands” emoji, users would now be able to select any combination of skin tone, to personalise the people holding hands, opening up more than 75 possible combinations, the iPhone-maker wrote in a blog-post on Tuesday.

Furthermore, introducing more disability-themed emojis, Apple keyboards would now have a new guide dog, an ear with a hearing aid, wheelchairs, a prosthetic arm and a prosthetic leg as well.

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Customers walk past an Apple logo inside of an Apple store at Grand Central Station in New York, Aug. 1, 2018. VOA

“Celebrating diversity in all its many forms is integral to Apple’s values and these new options help fill a significant gap in the emoji keyboard,” the post said.

ALSO READ: Apple Watch Saves Man from Drowning

Other new emojis making way into Apple keyboard includes a new smiley face for yawning, a one-piece swimsuit, new food items including a waffle, falafel, butter and garlic as well as new animals like the sloth, flamingo, orangutan and skunk. The new emojis would be made available this fall with a free software update on Apple devices. (IANS)