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Apple might be developing an AR headset for iPhones

A patent filed near the end of last year hints at a further push into AR tech
Apple might be developing an AR headset for iPhones

A patent filed by Apple suggests the tech giant might be developing its own augmented reality headset.

Patently Apple first discovered that the US Patent and Trademark Office had published a patent application from Apple related to augmented reality technologies. That’s no surprise in itself - Apple has long promoted its ARKit for developers.

What’s notable in this instance is the mention of using a “touch-sensitive” surface to interact with a headset that displays an augmented reality environment. That may be the AR headset Apple reportedly began work on over a year ago, slated for release in 2020.

It should be noted however that the filing of a patent doesn't itself necessarily mean Apple is actually working on an AR headset.

Advanced augmentation

Apple has continued to lag behind when it comes to AR headsets. Competitor Microsoft recently announced the second iteration of Hololens with a $3,500 headset.

But a future Apple headset should be able to stand on the strides made by the company’s work in phone AR. Last year’s ARKit 2 brought shared experiences and persistent AR to the iOS development tool.

News of a potential AR headset comes as Apple's other patents surrounding foldable phones were also published.