Apple’s first-generation mixed reality headset with combined augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) tech is expected to launch this year. Ahead of its launch, rumor mills are sharing details of its alleged design, functionality, and features.
The Information’s latest report on Apple mixed reality headset claims that the devices will allow all users, professional and amateur, to create AR apps via Siri. The only requisite for developing AR apps will be the AR/VR headset, not coding. Users without any knowledge of coding will be able to easily create 3D or augmented reality apps as well.
Apple mixed reality headset users will be able to create AR apps without learning to code
Augmented reality technology integrates digital information with the users’ environment in real-time like visuals, sounds, or other sensory stimuli. For example, the Pokemon GO game app from Niantic allows users to capture creatures in their surroundings in real-time by throwing poke balls.
Although the creation of AR content requires coding skills and tools, Apple plans to change that. Mixed reality headset users will not have to create visuals from scratch, instead, they will instruct the headset via Siri to create what they want.
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.
Maybe, the alleged functionality is based on the technology offered by a startup Fabric Software, the tech giant acquired in 2017. And like Roblox and Minecraft, the new mixed reality headset would let users create their own 3D games and publish them on the App Store, like developers.
Previously, Apple hired game developers and co-founders of Playdeo studio, Jack Schulze and Timo Arnall. The studio is behind “Avo”, and “Mystery Coast: Treasure Hunt” augment reality games on iOS.
It is specualted that the capability to develop AR apps without any professional knowledge would be a breakthrough in the App app industry and will boost the headset’s sales.
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 and professionals.
As the mixed reality headset will be used for video streaming, the report also mentions that the company is also actively producing content for its mixed reality headset.
People familiar with Apple’s content strategy for the headset say Apple executives are emphasizing health and wellness including proposals for AR apps that assist with meditation and exercise. One early AR demo allowed users to sit inside a Zen garden, the four people said.
It must be kept in mind that the report is based on documentation from 2021 and it is likely that the tech giant might launch the headset without the AR app creation via Siri.
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