Fresh evidence has just surfaced that Apple’s augmented reality glasses are still in the works. This news comes in spite of rumors suggesting that the project had been scrapped, Tom’s Guide reported earlier today. The programming framework that supports stereo augmented reality applications — referred to as “StarBoard” — was found intact and untouched within the code for Apple’s latest mobile operating system, iOS 13, and its accompanying beta version, iOS 13.1. The code remains present in the “golden master” version of the software, which is the final code due to ship on September 19.
Upon further investigation, Apple developer Steve Troughton-Smith even found a “readme” file left for Apple employees in the code. This text document teaches these employees how to run augmented reality applications without having the headset. He posted the document to Twitter during a lengthier conversation.
Rumors of Apple delving into the wearable augmented reality space have been circulating as early as 2017, when The Inquisitr reported that Apple had seemingly sought out a NASA scientist for a top-secret augmented reality project.
In spite of the steady flow of rumors surfacing to bolster the possibility of Apple having a viable augmented reality headset still in the works, a report from DigiTimes earlier this year stated that the program had been “dissolved.”
“Apple has discontinued the development of AR/VR headsets. According to people familiar with the situation, Apple originally had the responsibility to develop AR/VR headsets. However, the team was disbanded in May and the original members were transferred to other product developments.”
????Apple augmented reality glasses (ARDisplayDevice) confirmed in Xcode 11 Golden Master version codenames Luck, Garta and Franc, reportedly last minute decided not too debut the AR headset at September 10th iPhone event pic.twitter.com/L1eMwujXJC
— DigiSlice® (@DigiSlice) September 11, 2019
Back in March, 9to5 Mac reported that Ming-Chi Kuo — widely regarded to be the most accurate Apple analyst and predictor of future tech coming from the firm — stated manufacturing could begin as early as Q4 2019, and even shared some of the details on how the device will work by utilizing the processing power of the wearer’s iPhone.
“The analyst says that the AR glasses will essentially act as a display only with the actual computing, rendering, internet connectivity and location services coming from the iPhone in the user’s pocket. It is assumed that the pairing will work wirelessly like Apple Watch, but the report does not state that explicitly.”
Time will tell if Apple’s StarBoard augmented reality glasses will flop like the previous attempt at such as a headset, the ill-fated Google Glass. But if the above reports are anything to go by, we won’t have to wait long to find out.