Apple is working on new software tools that will allow both developers and customers to create augmented reality apps for the rumored “RealityPro”AR/VR headset, according to a report from The Information‘s Wayne Ma (a subscription is required to read the entire article).
From the report: With the software tools, Apple hopes that even people who don’t know computer code could tell the headset, via the Siri voice assistant, to build an AR app that could then be made available via Apple’s App Store for others to download. The tool, for example, could allow users to build an app with virtual animals moving around a room and over or around real-life objects without the need to design the animal from scratch and calculate its movement in a 3D space with obstacles.
If Apple succeeds, it would be a major advance in AR app development. AR apps are currently challenging to develop, and without fresh content, the new hardware could have limited appeal. While the tools are aimed partly at software developers, Apple hopes that consumers will be able to use them as well, just as its Final Cut Pro video editing tool can be used by both consumers
As previously reported, the “RealityPro” extended reality device will switch between AR (augmented reality) and virtual reality (VR), according to Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman. He adds that the device will have an iOS-like interface and be able to serve as an external display for a Mac. Gurman says the Reality Pro will allow users to see their Mac’s display in virtual reality but still control the computer with their trackpad or mouse and physical keyboard. Other details from the report:
° The RealityPro will have several external cameras that can analyze a user’s hands, as well as sensors within the gadget’s housing to read eyes. That allows the wearer to control the device by looking at an on-screen item — whether it’s a button, app icon or list entry — to select it.
° You’ll be able to input text via Siri or a physically close iPhone, Mac, or iPad.
° Users will also be able to type in midair with their hands.
° The RealityPro may sport a built-in battery with USB-C charging.
° It will sport a curved screen on the front that can outwardly show a wearer’s eyes, with speakers on the sides and a headband that helps fit the device around a user’s head.
° A “dedicated video watching feature will make viewers feel like they’re seeing a movie on a giant screen in another environment, such as a desert or outer space.”
° You’ll be able to use FaceTime on the RealityPro and it will “realistically render a user’s face and full body in virtual reality.”
Last week Gurman reported that Apple has indefinitely postponed development on its other AR/VR project, “Apple Glasses,” because of technical difficulties.
Let me explain. The “RealityPro” (the rumored name, as nothing has been confirmed by Apple) is an augmented reality head-mounted display. “Apple Glasses” are the anticipated follow-up product that would have a lower price tag and have a design akin to regular glasses.