With virtual reality and augmented reality soon set to be the top new sector in wearable tech, it’s a surprise that Apple haven’t yet entered the race. Across the globe their major competitors all seem to have a device on the way- various models of headset are at various stages of development and testing, some more diverse than others.
Microsoft recently revealed their HoloLens headset, and the gaming market is set to be dominated by Oculus Rift and HTC/Valve’s Vive. Meanwhile in the lightweight sector Google’s new, upcoming Google Glass is soon to contend with multiple similar devices, not in the least Sony’s SmartEyeGlass. All the big names are drawing up battle lines in their respective sectors, but still Apple have not as of yet entered the fray.
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Part of the reason could be the Apple Watch and expansion into screen technology in 4K ultra HD resolution. The new Macbook screens are less of a problem, but the Apple Watch’s stumbling launch and the so far mixed reception of the device may be tying the company down. On top of this there has been a big focus on upgrading the iPad recently. Could Apple have put all their eggs in one basket?
Well, Apple VR rumors are indeed out there. A patent for a headset from the company was filed all the way back in 2007, plus the company put out a hiring call for a Senior Display Systems Engineer for “display systems design and development related to VR environments” earlier in the year.
Another patent found this year showed an iPhone attachment where the phone slides into a headset and is used as a VR display, similar to Samsung’s Gear VR attachment.
A late entry into an emerging market could have several pros and cons. The ability to assess and compete with rival companies is great, but on the other hand the building of a fanbase early really kicks off a product of it’s one of the first to arrive. Sponsorship deals and promotional partnerships up for grabs may also disappear for a late entrant.
Regardless, it would be sheer folly to believe Apple won’t ever build a virtual reality or augmented reality headset. The big question is who the company will take aim at, as in, what type of
device will it be? There could be big surprises coming in the following months.