Apple is said to be teaming up with Valve to bring a new AR headset coming as early as 2020. Valve, the gaming giant that brought gaming to PC users everywhere via the Steam Store, has notably been working hard within the VR community.
In 2017 Apple worked to create a new headset that would run on the macOS High Sierra. The team had initially been set to work on virtual reality, but was rumored to have disbanded. Recently it was reported that the team had not disbanded but had been pairing up with Valve to create a more AR-centric headset.
According to DigiTimes, Code found within iOS 13 confirms that Apple is still working on implementing a new AR headset into its products. Gaming appeared to only be a small part of Apple's vision for the new AR headset when a small icon appeared in the Find My App that looked similar to a Google Cardboard icon.
In 2012 when Virtual Reality was starting to creep back into the general awareness, Valve was very public about trying to create a new VR headset. While the Oculus Rift was gaining massive popularity, Valve was showing off its groundbreaking experiments to the New York Times. Even though Valve had plenty of experiments to be excited about, it didn't yet have a prototype to work with.
In October of 2014, Valve and HTC finally teamed up to start working on the Vive. The project at the time was so secretive that they had to sign NDAs (nondisclosure agreements) just to see the nondisclosure agreements. From there they went on to create the incredibly popular HTC Vive.
HTC would later reveal the Vive Pro before Valve split off to create its own virtual reality headset that launched earlier this year, The Valve Index. Now that Valve has launched its VR headset, Valve's involvement with Apple may help sway them towards a more gaming involved system.
Many have speculated that AR is mostly useful in mapping apps or finding interesting facts about local monuments. However, Apple's CEO Tim Cook is saying there is way more potential. Cook has proclaimed that AR is the new wave of gaming and they are investing in the future of its growth to connect gamers.
"AR has the ability to amplify human performance instead of isolating humans. So I am a huge, huge believer in AR. We put a lot of energy on AR."
Although it's true that AR has more of an ability to connect people through real-world interaction, it's unclear just how that will be done. With Valve involved, it's likely that more gaming will be a major focus. The new Harry Potter: Wizards Unite and Pokemon GO are a few games that come to mind that could benefit from a fully integrated AR headset.
The rumor is that the headset will not utilize any controllers, but will have voice automation with Siri. Quanta Computer and Pegatron are also rumored to be manufacturing the headsets who also produce low-cost AR headsets.