Xcode 11 GM Confirms Apple's Work on AR Headset

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Code found in the golden master version of Xcode 11 confirms that Apple is working on an augmented reality headset of some kind, and perhaps planned to announce it at the event but scrapped the debut last minute.

9to5Mac's Guilherme Rambo and developer Steve Troughton-Smith found that Xcode 11 features an ARDisplayDevice framework with references to codenamed Apple headsets that are in development, including Franc, Luck, and Garta (which pertains to HoloKit, a third-party device).

An Apple Glasses mockup​

References to these names were previously discovered in iOS 13 code alongside a STARTester app able to switch in and out of a head-mounted mode, replicating the functionality of an augmented reality headset on an iPhone for testing purposes.

StarBoard frameworks on iOS 13 now. StarBoard is Apple's system shell for stereo augmented reality apps (headset). Guess secrecy is out? pic.twitter.com/XTnlqQgpHh - Steve Troughton-Smith (@stroughtonsmith) September 10, 2019

The GameController framework in iOS 13 also has a gamepad profile for a device meant to be used while using stereo AR apps. The controller profile has a clicky trackpad, a trigger button, and a system (home?) button. Handheld controller for Apple's headset? 🤔 - Steve Troughton-Smith (@stroughtonsmith) September 10, 2019

It seems very much like Stereo AR apps are an app extension type you can include in your iOS app bundle, if you have the entitlements. One imagines that when Apple's headset is attached, it has a dashboard of some kind that shows you your available Stereo AR apps (like CarPlay) - Steve Troughton-Smith (@stroughtonsmith) September 10, 2019

The iOS 13 GM also comes with a readme file (!) for how employees can run Stereo AR apps on an iPhone when you don't have access to Apple's headset 😳 pic.twitter.com/SeZEHW8p0S - Steve Troughton-Smith (@stroughtonsmith) September 10, 2019

iOS 13.1 beta 3 and iOS 13.0 GM include the new StarBoard system shell, to run stereo AR apps. Is this real life? https://t.co/TxaX0un1dk pic.twitter.com/9LRuvIIzyc - Guilherme Rambo (@_inside) September 11, 2019

There was also a reference to a StarBoard system shell for stereo AR-enabled apps, which has also been located in the Xcode 11 GM by developer Steve Troughton-Smith, along with a ReadMe file that specifically references an Apple "HME" headset.

It's not entirely clear what Apple is working on, but as 9to5Mac outlined last week, the stereo augmented reality data found in the iOS 13 and Xcode 11 GM code references support for a face-mounted AR experience said to be more similar to Google's Daydream than a pair of smart glasses.

The fact that Apple left this code in the Xcode 11 GM suggests that it was perhaps something that the company originally planned to talk about today, though it's not known if that is indeed the case.

Article Link: Xcode 11 GM Confirms Apple's Work on AR Headset
 

iDento

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You all will look dorky and stupid wearing one of these, no one will buy them, X company tried and failed*

says the people who said the same thing about AirPods and Apple Watch.

*X company is Snapchat, not google, google was just horrible at marketing their glasses just like any product they make that’s not free, because ironically the company that lives and dies on ads sucks at selling products to average people (not techies).
 

jonblatho

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This should have never made it into the GM. More evidence software development incompetence at Apple.
What it’s “more evidence” of is that Apple most likely intended to announce this hardware today to ship later — it is rumored to enter production late this year or early next — and then changed their minds.
 

aksala

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Hot damn, now that's a leak! I don't think we've seen more solid proof than this that Apple is truly developing its own AR headset, and no doubt probably has many working prototypes as we speak. Not to be too pedantic, but it sounds like the AR headset (at least to fully function) will need a compatible iDevice (presumably one with the right CPU and GPU chops to handle the offloaded computational functions). I'm sure the headset will have a bunch of its own discreet compute units and I'd imagine it might even have a mode wherein it could function on its own and maybe display some basic data (temperature, heading, forecast, etc) without the aid of an iDevice.

In addition to its standard AR functions (where you are interacting with the real world), I would like to see some sort of 'holodeck' mode where it would function more like a standard VR headset. Maybe there could be some sort of shutter system you could deploy to block out the real world and display whatever you want on top of that. As cool as that would be, I'm guessing the device will be very minimalist and there won't be room to employ a system like that.

Either way, I'm excited about this device. Although it's way too early to guess on price, here's my prediction: $399.00. That seems low, especially for a cutting edge Apple device, but remember the price point can't be too high in a risky product category such as this. Other VR companies have had a tough go getting their products off the ground even though they have been heavily invested in and promoted. It seems even in this day and age VR/AR is a tough proposition. I hope Apple can break that barrier.
 
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Mactendo

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I have a strong feeling something was cancelled the very last minute. When Tim was talking in the end it looked like he was unsure if to end the keynote or not. I’m sure it was about Apple Tag, but it looks there’re more.

It’s good to have new products but it just shows incompetence: cancelled products, messy keynotes. It was too short and hurried up as if they wanted to talk about something else. If it wasn’t true then they could talk more about new iPhone features. They didn’t mention audio zoom for example, which is a major feature.
 

developer13245

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What it’s “more evidence” of is that Apple most likely intended to announce this hardware today to ship later — it is rumored to enter production late this year or early next — and then changed their minds.
A framework does NOT need to be included in a GM software release for a press event announcing hardware that will ship later (even if the hardware was announced).
 
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smulji

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I have a strong feeling something was cancelled the very last minute. When Tim was talking in the end it looked like he was unsure if to end the keynote or not. I’m sure it was about Apple Tag, but it looks there’re more.

It’s good to have new products but it just shows incompetence: cancelled products, messy keynotes. It was too short and hurried up as if they wanted to talk about something else. If it wasn’t true then they could talk more about new iPhone features. They didn’t mention audio zoom for example, which is a major feature.
Steve Jobs was known to have cancelled things in the last minute as well. S**t happens
 

developer13245

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I have a strong feeling something was cancelled the very last minute. When Tim was talking in the end it looked like he was unsure if to end the keynote or not. I’m sure it was about Apple Tag, but it looks there’re more.

It’s good to have new products but it just shows incompetence: cancelled products, messy keynotes. It was too short and hurried up as if they wanted to talk about something else. If it wasn’t true then they could talk more about new iPhone features. They didn’t mention audio zoom for example, which is a major feature.
Don't over think this... Apple has run out of ideas after the "one hit wonder" iPhone. Admittedly it was a good run. So of course the keynote was "messy, too short and hurried" because standing there with nothing left to talk about (when you so desperately want to have more) is indeed messy and uncomfortable.

As CEO, Timmy the Crook's main job is to 'sell' Apple. It was just another uncomfortable sales pitch that fell short.

Prediction: Timmy will "throw in the towel" soon if Apple continues to give him "not much" more to say.
 

aksala

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I have an Oculous Rift, and it's an amazing device when using an App that truly immerses you in the world. That being said, it still suffers from some hard to avoid side effect - the 'screen door effect' (where you can see the individual pixels of the screen, defeating the illusion of 'being there'), dizziness/vertigo induced feeling, weight of the headset, etc.

Now, I know Apple's headset will be somewhat of a different animal and be lightweight, with a constant view of the real world so many of the problems a traditional VR headset will face won't be an issue with the glasses, but I do worry that there will still be visual/balance issues for some when wearing the headset, and no doubt Apple will test these vigorously before a generalized one hits the streets.

I do wonder what sort of technology they will use to 'paint the pixels' of the display. I'm guessing it will be some sort of HUD-like device that will sit on both the left and right legs of the glasses and project an image onto each lens. Cooler yet would be a 'transparent' LCD display embedded in each lens that would look clear when not turned on but then when turned on display a proper image.
 
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jonblatho

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Don't over think this... Apple has run out of ideas after the "one hit wonder" iPhone. Admittedly it was a good run. So of course the keynote was "messy, too short and hurried" because standing there with nothing left to talk about (when you so desperately want to have more) is indeed messy and uncomfortable.

As CEO, Timmy the Crook's main job is to 'sell' Apple. It was just another uncomfortable sales pitch that fell short.

Prediction: Timmy will "throw in the towel" soon if Apple continues to give him "not much" more to say.
Friend, this article itself says there was more to talk about.
[doublepost=1568165654][/doublepost]
A framework does NOT need to be included in a GM software release for a press event announcing hardware that will ship later (even if the hardware was announced).
It’s more that it no longer needs to be removed from the build before public release.
 
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69Mustang

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In between a rock and a hard place
It's not entirely clear what Apple is working on, but as 9to5Mac outlined last week, the stereo augmented reality data found in the iOS 13 and Xcode 11 GM code references support for a face-mounted AR experience said to be more similar to Google's Daydream than a pair of smart glasses.
Ya'll better hope this ain't close to being accurate cuz...

Daydream was just basically devices for turning your phone into a VR screen. In 2019 I'm sure Apple is further down the road than Google's 2016 tech, but if it's anything like "place your phone in this fancy headband", uh nope.
 
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Mactendo

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I totally agree with this. His ending just felt…off, and it even almost seemed like a “One more thing...” closing fake-out at first.
Yes, exactly.

Don't over think this... Apple has run out of ideas after the "one hit wonder" iPhone. Admittedly it was a good run. So of course the keynote was "messy, too short and hurried" because standing there with nothing left to talk about (when you so desperately want to have more) is indeed messy and uncomfortable.
I’m not overthinking, it’s a feeling. There were things to talk about, even if just about iPhone features. The new processor - it looks like there’s something to talk about, but it was so short and messy... Speaking about Tim Cook I agree with you.

Steve Jobs was known to have cancelled things in the last minute as well. S**t happens
It happens, agreed, but this time it was kinda too much.
 

aksala

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I have a strong feeling something was cancelled the very last minute. When Tim was talking in the end it looked like he was unsure if to end the keynote or not. I’m sure it was about Apple Tag, but it looks there’re more.
That's interesting, I agree as well that there was something off about the ending of this Keynote. If something was happening like you allude too, I hope that someone somewhere can spill the beans at some point so we can all know what was really going on. That being said, even if the AR glasses (or Apple Tags) were not quite ready, I'm sure the general public would have been very forgiving and would have relished the chance to at least see a prototype in action. All they would have had to say, regarding it's release date, would be that 'it'll be ready when it's ready'.

Maybe the darn thing kept crashing and they couldn't guarantee it wouldn't happen if they had revealed it today. Reminds me of that one Microsoft demo where this dude, in front of a huge crowd, was demoing some Windows 95/98 plug and play technology (with Bill Gates at his side). Right as he was getting into it the darn thing blue screened causing much embarrassment, to which the presenter said with a sheepish grin: "Moving On!".
 

developer13245

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You all will look dorky and stupid wearing one of these, no one will buy them, X company tried and failed*

says the people who said the same thing about AirPods and Apple Watch.

*X company is Snapchat, not google, google was just horrible at marketing their glasses just like any product they make that’s not free, because ironically the company that lives and dies on ads sucks at selling products to average people (not techies).
Remember, if something is free, its not the product. You are.

Agree that non-free products created by companies with vast revenue generated by "free stuff" always suck.

But the "head cam" concept crosses a social line that people will not accept. Of course the "Big Tech overlords" are working hard to brainwash the masses in its eventual acceptance. So who knows, maybe Apple can get the brain washing correct. But their marketing department is starting to run on fumes..