Additional Evidence of Apple’s AR Headset Found in iOS 13 GM

New evidence shows that Apple still may be working on its rumoured AR glasses.

Martin Hajek/iDrop

Despite rumours to the contrary, it seems that Apple is still working on its augmented reality glasses, reads a new report from 9to5Mac. In fact, StarBoard — the programming framework that supports the device — has been left untouched in the final version of iOS 13 and iOS 13.1 beta.

Uncovered by developer Steven Troughton-Smith, several references to an AR headset are found, containing details describing how the system works. The iOS 13 gold master also includes a readme file for how employees can run these AR apps on an iPhone, if they don’t have access to Apple’s headset device, codenamed “Garta.” The code suggests that the headset device could be worn or held.

Digging yet deeper, Troughton-Smith also says iOS 13 has something called the “GameController” framework, which includes a gamepad profile for “a device meant to be used while using stereo AR apps,” specifying that the controller includes a trackpad, a trigger button, and a system button.

Both iOS 13.0 gold master and iOS 13.1 beta releases contain Apple’s StarBoard, 9to5Mac’s Guilherme Rambo confirms.

Despite the references, it is not clear on how exactly the device would function. Previously, stereo augmented reality data was found on the iOS 13 and Xcode 11 GM code, leading some to believe that Apple is working on a face-mounted AR headset that will function similarly to the Google Daydream. On the other hand, it is less likely that Apple is working on smart glasses.

Apple’s plans for augmented or virtual reality went unmentioned during yesterday’s iPhone event, along with other rumoured announcements like a new Apple TV or ultra-wideband location Tags. Still, the leftover notes suggest that it could’ve been a late scratch, or perhaps that something new is, as rumoured, around the corner for next year.