Apple iOS 13 beta reveals AR headset

Published 22 September 2019, 16:48

xSnow developers have revealed two significant discoveries in iOS 13.1 beta: field display specifications for 3 different AR headsets, and a functioning StarTester mode that shows how hardware will work.

Previous findings in iOS 13 show that Apple is testing three AR headsets tethered to the iPhone, relying on pocket computers for rendering graphics and other processing when using a separate handheld controller for input. Apple has patented various display technologies and possible headset features, but there is still considerable ambiguity over the direction the final product will take.

The three AR headsets codenamed Luck, Franc, and Garta each have different fields of view, as follows:

Luck: 58 degrees diagonal 
Franc: 61 degrees diagonal
Garta: 68 degrees diagonal 

Assuming the numbers are correct, Luck is 35% wider than its height, while Franc is 17.5% wider, and Garta is 4.25% wider. Variation indicates that the company plans to support multiple third-party AR headset displays, or is still testing its own solutions to decide which will be supported. Luck might fill up fewer of your peripheral visions while looking closer to "cinematic," while Garta will have a bigger but more square box.

Because the StarBoard and StarTester features are clearly in beta - and officially not disclosed by Apple - no conclusions can be drawn regarding the performance or limitations of the software at this stage. But the initial specifications show that Apple is working to improve the marginal field of view found in existing AR headsets, even though the jumps seem to be less than double the small leaps forward.


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