Apple was said to have put a stop to its plans to build its own AR headset, but that might not be the case after MacRumors got its hands on an internal iOS 13 build with a secret to share.
The build includes references to an unannounced product, and more.
The internal iOS 13 build includes a new app called STARTester which can be switched to head-mounted mode for AR testing. It also includes two states; work, and held.
The intrigue continues with the inclusion of a README file that mentioned a StarBoard system shell for stereo AR-enabled apps. It also goes on to mention Garta, which appears to be the codename for the unannounced augmented reality headset.
There is also an internal README file in iOS 13 that describes a “StarBoard” system shell for stereo AR-enabled apps, which implies a headset of some kind. The file also suggests Apple is developing an augmented reality device codenamed “Garta,” possibly as one of several prototypes under the “T288” umbrella.
The same iOS 13 build also includes strings for a StarBoard mode as well as numerous scenes and views. Some of those strings include AR, again suggesting that augmented reality is being worked on. Two examples include ARStarBoardViewController and ARStarBoardSceneManager.
DigiTimes had previously said that the Apple AR headset project had been shelved, but this latest discovery would suggest that not to be the case. We’ll see whether any AR headset talk takes place during the iPhone announcement event on September 10th.
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