While Facebook, Samsung and even Sony's PlayStation did a visible effort to push VR in our life, with different results – visors are far more popular in the East than in the Western world – Apple opted for a different strategy. It's been a few years that the Californian company has shown particular attention for Augmented Reality, more or less since the launch of iPhone 8, when we were first introduced with apps that could measure the walls and AR-powered games. At that time, it looked like magic, but also something distant and not so obvious to use. The AirPods, launched in 2016, introduced a sort of augmented audio experience and put things a bit forward, but it's the filters craziness going on on Instagram that's giving today unprecedented popularity to AR. It's the narcissism, baby!, and the best is yet to come.
Too far ahead of their time: that's how we'll probably see in a few years Google Glass, the AR-enabled smart spectacles that were announced in 2013 but never made it as a commercial device. Maybe Apple will succeed where Google failed: next year's iPhone will most probably sport a ToF sensor, which should boost the AR experience on the phone. But Apple first AR headset is also expected, claim Bloomberg and analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who says that they'll be most probably launched in the second quarter of 2020. Apple's glasses will display texts, maps, games and info in the user's field of view, augmenting his vision – like Microsoft's Hololens – and not enclosing him into a virtual world, as a VR headset would. The success of such a headset will strongly depend by the performance of the hardware – some referrals for stereo AR apps can be found in iOS 13, as spotted by Wired – but Apple will need a bunch of killer apps to make this new device the “an eventual successor of the iPhone”, as Bloomberg reports, so the company has been hiring new experts in graphics and game development in the last months, “to establish the glasses as the leader in a new product category”.