New York Times: Goodbye iPhone, Hello Mixed Reality Headset

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Eventually, there will come a time when the iPhone will no longer generate the massive sales that Apple and its shareholders have become accustomed to. What’s going to be Apple’s next big thing? For years, there was speculation that some kind of Augmented Reality glasses would replace Apple’s iconic smartphone to become the tech giant’s biggest seller. About five years ago, analyst Gene Munster went so far as to say that: Apple’s AR glasses will eventually be bigger than the iPhone.

Apple is preparing its “next big thing”

That may still turn out to be true, but Apple does have a product it has prepared for release before the so-called AR Apple Glass. This would be a mixed-reality VR/AR headset that would use both Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR). The first creates made-up environments for you to immerse yourself in.

Augmented Reality creates a lifelike image and has an overlay with data. A great example of AR in action is Google Map’s Live View available for AR trails. The rear camera gives you a real-time look at the road and traffic ahead, while the overlay features arrows telling you which direction to walk and other icons pointing out well-known landmarks you’ll be walking nearby.

Today, The Gray Lady (as The New York Times is often mentioned) wrote how Apple is gearing up for its next big thing by lining up major directors to help create video content for the mixed reality headset Apple plans to release next year. Based on renders, the headset has a design that resembles ski goggles and the product has reportedly passed through the Apple boardroom in Cupertino.

Presumably, the version of the headset Apple will eventually release will be a standalone model that doesn’t require tethering to an iPhone or a base station. At WWDC on Monday, Apple is expected to introduce tools that developers will use to make their apps compatible with the mixed reality headset. While the operating system for the product will reportedly be called rOS for reality operating system (a name we heard many years ago), the user interface is said to offer hands-free navigation according to the Timein which several key documents related to the project were reviewed.

Apple fans don’t seem overjoyed with the company’s Mixed Reality headset

Apple fans don’t seem very excited to add a mixed reality headset to the company’s enviable ecosystem. These users may be waiting for the AR Apple Glass which should be similar to Google Glass. Personally, this writer has always believed that the idea behind Google Glass and Apple Glass is to provide wearers with the same data and experience that smartphone users can receive on their phones, but through their glasses instead of a screen.

That seems to be what Google had in mind with its Project Glass video showing it released to the world on April 4, 2012. Apple Glass is still a few years away, and Apple may still be wondering what kind of reception such a device could bring. You may recall that Google Glass users were accused of taking pictures of subjects who didn’t know they were being photographed, giving users of the device the unflattering nickname “Glassholes.”

Carolina Milanesi, a technology analyst with tech researchers Creative Strategies, said: “This is the next frontier. For Apple, this is about a new computing experience and the ability to engage consumers with a device and new experiences that build on what they’ve done with content.”

The big question is whether the public will feel that the iPhone experience can be replaced or improved by constantly wearing a headset or AR glasses. Keep in mind that the headset isn’t expected to be released until next year, giving you plenty of time to say goodbye to your iPhone.

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