Apple has long been rumored to be working on a pair of AR headset or AR glasses. A number for conflicting reports has surfaced the internet regarding the rumored Apple AR headset. Earlier this year, reports indicated that the company was planning to launch the product in early 2020. Recent reports revealed that the company has canned the project without any details behind the move. However, the latest information online from Apple iOS 13 indicates that the company may not have canceled the project after all.
Apple iOS 13 code inspection
According to a report by MacRumors, the code from an internal build of iOS 13 hints at an AR headset. The report reveals that Apple is currently testing an augmented reality headset internally. It went on to state that the head-mounted AR display or glasses are currently under development. The internal code also revealed a “STARTester” app that toggles between the head-mounted mode. The code hints at two different head-mounted modes or “states”. The first mode is “worn” while the second mode is “held” according to the information. It is likely that this app is meant to replicate the AR headset functionality on the iPhone for testing.
An internal README file in Apple iOS 13 also pointed at “StarBoard” system shell that is meant for stereo AR apps. The same file also hinted at an AR device with the code name “Garta”. It may be one of the many prototypes that Apple is working on as part of its “T288” category. Further code inspection also revealed a “StarBoard mode” with different “scenes”, and “views”. The internal code makes multiple references to “ARStarBoardViewController”, and “ARStarBoardSceneManger”.
Digging the code further, developers also found an icon that Apple is using to depict the AR or VR headset. Taking a closer look at the icon, we found that it is similar to the Google Cardboard icon. The “on” and “off” states of the mode likely refers to the “white” and “gray” colored versions of the icon. Both the icons contained “B389” and “MockMode” in the file names. The report also stated that the icon used in the app “likely does not depict” the actual Apple AR headset.