Apple teased its next announcement event for Sept. 14 with an impressive demonstration of AR.
Tapping the Apple symbol on the announcement webpage launches a 3D object that, on an iPhone at least, can be positioned and resized in an AR view while casting a glow into the physical environment. If you move your iPhone closer to the symbol it reveals itself to be a portal with the text 9.14 floating inside. Using the latest iPhone 12 Pro with the teaser provided a pretty impressive demonstration of AR tracking technology — with the system robustly segmenting out people into the background with pretty believable occlusion. We know Apple is working on an advanced VR/AR headset but the company is known for cancelling projects late in development.
The event comes within days of a tease by Ray-Ban that’s expected to detail a pair of perspective-capturing Facebook smartglasses. While the device may be absent advanced AR features, we expect overlap between what the glasses do today and what features will be inside future eyewear from Facebook. In what’s likely a more near-term proposition than slim AR glasses, Facebook is pursuing a so-called “Quest Pro” high-end standalone that’s likely to incorporate more sensors for more robust tracking. Microsoft is already on its second-generation standalone AR headset (and working with the U.S. Army on a ruggedized version) while Google is unlikely to sit out the effort to power robust AR glasses. Pokemon Go maker Niantic is working on AR glasses and Snapchat recently launched an AR development kit.
The Apple announcement event on Sept. 14 will kick off at 10 am Pacific time.