Apple has been betting big on augmented reality features, with the rumored goal of pairing them with AR devices.
Now, a number of people familiar with the company's plans have detailed the effort, telling Bloomberg that it's planning to unveil an iPad Pro with 3D AR sensors before eventually launching an AR-VR headset and a pair of AR glasses.
Here's all about Apple's plans.
iPad Pro and its 3D sensor system
After introducing AR-based capabilities in the iOS, Apple is gearing up to expand AR to the iPad family, hardware-wise.
For this, the sources say, the Cupertino giant may soon launch an upgraded iPad Pro with a 3D sensing system.
This augmented reality tech would come as an advanced avatar of Face ID, letting you create "reconstructions of [real-world] rooms, objects and people" almost instantly.
It might launch in first half of 2020
Along with the 3D sensor, which is likely to rest in a small hole, the next iPad Pro will also incorporate a module hosting dual-rear cameras.
Apart from this, no other details have been revealed about this device, but word goes around that the high-end Apple tablet would be unveiled as early as the first half of 2020.
Then, the first iPhone will debut same 3D sensors
Once the iPad Pro launches, Apple will add the same 3D sensing technology into the next iPhone, which will debut later in 2020 with 5G capabilities.
This means, if all goes according to the plan, Apple's latest flagship hardware would be equipped with the AR tech required to create digital reconstructions of environments, even people.
Plan to launch AR-VR headset in 2021 or 2022
After bundling iPhones/iPads with the required AR tech, Apple will move towards launching the long-rumored augmented and virtual reality devices, the sources added.
The company is aiming to announce a combined AR and VR headset in 2021 or 2022; the device would let users play games, watch videos, join virtual meetings.
Then, by 2023, it hopes to launch a lightweight pair of AR glasses.
What these AR glasses would be capable of doing?
Details are thin, but reports indicate the glasses would work like a regular AR headset by superimposing the real world with the virtual world, digital messages, characters, and directions. However, for this device, the paired iPhone/iPad will likely do more of the heavy lifting.
Note: Nothing has been officially confirmed so far
While the plans sound tempting, it's imperative to note that nothing is confirmed at this stage and the launch timelines or product details may eventually change.
However, considering Apple boss Tim Cook has been talking about AR for quite a while, adding 3D sensing capabilities and venturing into AR headsets and glasses seems like an obvious push to go beyond the existing hardware line-up.