Apple have long walked their own path, releasing the iPod
and iPhone when such devices were inconceivable to the average person. Since
then, they have specialised in producing products sparingly – their product
list would not fill up on side of A4 paper – with a focus on high quality and
pricing to match.
This strategy can work surprisingly well, with customers flocking to buy each new offering as it comes out; even spending the night on the pavement outside Apple Stores before any new release is unleashed.
Apple has long kept their operating system and app cache under tight regulation, with developers needing to jump through a series of very precise hoops in order to get on the list of approved developers – and that is all before they’ve even created one app! Each app must pass the criteria too, meeting strict standards and working flawlessly.
One drawback with this way of working is that Apple is seen as being a little backward when it comes to new technology, and this would seem to be verified by their current lack of investment in virtual reality and its accompanying technology.
However, it is facile to dismiss Apple’s lack of virtual reality engagement as being behind the times or no longer relevant. Apple’s CEO (Chief Executive Officer), Tim Cook has long been known for his dislike of virtual reality, much preferring the real life enhancement offered by augmented reality.
Apple has a strong augmented reality platform – ARKit, which has been praised as offering a strong and thoroughly delightful augmented reality experience. This has been the direction that developers have been encouraged to go, using augmented reality to enhance users’ gameplay and video viewing.
However, the winds of change might be beginning to blow through the hallowed Apple halls as a new patent has recently been filed for the company which seems to depict a virtual reality headset. In the patent application papers, a diagram clearly shows a headset, and a mobile phone, placed in the configuration of a mobile-enabled virtual reality head-set.
Of course, filing a patent is no definitive indication that the device will be created – a patent can work as a place-holder to prevent someone else from working on that particular product as well being an indication of work that will be done.Apple fans who are itching to see their take on virtual reality will be hoping that the patent application is a positive sign, a declaration of intention to do, rather than the unsporting alternative. But all we can do is wait and see what the tech giant comes up with for their next product release.