Apple takes a step back to temporarily halt its AR/VR glasses project: Reports

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”, which if genuine would be devastating news for the company.

“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.

“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.

“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.

“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.

Apple has been heavily invested inexploring virtual reality and augmented reality technologies for over 10 years as we know from patent filings. The company is also reputed to have an undercover research unit including many representatives working on AR and VR technologies, investigating ways the advances could be utilized in future Apple items.

Many 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. 

However, 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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