Apple has offered its clearest indicator yet that it’s working on AR glasses.
As first reported by MacRumors, an internal build of iOS 13 suggests that the development of an augmented reality display is ongoing, despite some rumors suggesting the project had been scrapped.
According to the report, internal iOS 13 builds include a “STARTester” app which can be switched in and out of a head-mounted mode, designed to replicate the functionality of an augmented reality headset on the iPhone.
There are currently two states for testing, one being “worn” and the other “held,” suggesting the project could be for Apple Arcade.
The report goes on to suggest that there’s an internal README file in iOS 13 which goes into more detail of Apple’s “StarBoard” system, suggesting a headset of some kind.
Indeed, “StarBoard” is described as a system shell for stereo AR-enabled apps, and the file also shares more information on an AR device called “Garta,” which could be one of several prototypes currently being developed by Apple under the “T288” codename.
Several StarBoard strings were uncovered in the internal iOS 13 release, including a “StarBoard mode” and “views” and “scenes”, as well as an “ARStarBoardViewController” and an “ARStarBoardSceneManager.”
Several sources have suggested that Apple was planning to release its own augmented reality glasses as early as next year, with other reports suggesting Apple would launch a new operating system called rOS, designed to serve as an augmented reality hub for iOS apps.
Apple’s Tim Cook has spoken at length about the possibility of bringing more augmented reality technology to Apple, telling journalists he thought the concept was “profound” as it “amplifies human performance instead of isolating humans,” a clear sign he was committed to an AR project in some way or another.
But until we learn more, StarBoard could be anything.
Are you excited to find out more about Apple’s new StarBoard concept? Let us know on Twitter and check back soon for more news and rumors on Apple Glasses, as and when we get them.