Apple is reportedly working with Valve to co-develop a new generation of augmented reality headset, with rumors that it could debut as soon as 2020. This is the latest in a long line of rumors that suggested Apple was working on an AR headset for compatible Apple devices, since 2017. It has long been thought to be a potential successor to Apple's iphone, moving beyond using a handheld device, to something more mainstream accessible in an AR form.
"Apple will cooperate with Valve on AR headsets rather than VR devices," the latest report from DigiTimes claims, "as its CEO Tim Cook believes that AR can make digital content become part of the user's world and will be as popular as smartphones with consumers."
The initial release would be marketed as an iPhone accessory, but it's possible that as the technology improves in the future, it could be something that replaces the average iPhone. It's thought that Valve's input on the technology will bring to bear its virtual reality experience when it comes to developing the ergonomics and tracking systems.
Manufacturing will reportedly be handled by Quanta Computer and Pegatron, which are major electronics manufacturers of a large swathe of different products.
This isn't the first time Apple and Valve have worked together. They previously co-developed the virtual reality native support in MacOS, so a partnership over a new generation of AR tracking and software integration is no surprise.