Apple Testing AR/VR Headset With HTC Vive-Like Controller, Crosswalk Bowling Game, and More

Apple has expressed a profound interest in augmented reality in recent years, making a major push into the space with frameworks like ARKit and RealityKit, creative tools like Reality Composer and Reality Converter, and hardware like the LiDAR Scanner on the new iPad Pro and likely some iPhone 12 models.

Multiple reports have indicated that Apple also plans to release a combination AR/VR headset by 2021 or 2022, and MacRumors has uncovered significant evidence of this project in a leaked build of iOS 14 that has been circulating.

MacRumors has obtained a photo from iOS 14 of what appears to be a generic looking controller for an AR/VR headset, with a very similar design as the controller for the HTC Vive Focus headset, released in 2018. Back in 2017, Bloomberg's Mark Gurman reported that Apple engineers were using HTC Vive hardware for internal testing purposes.

Given the basic design of the controller, we suspect that it is for internal testing purposes only. Apple's consumer-facing controller would likely be much more polished.

apple ar vr headset controller
Earlier this month, it was reported that iOS 14 contains a new augmented reality app codenamed "Gobi," and we believe that Apple is using this app along with QR codes to test augmented reality experiences on its AR/VR headset. There are QR codes that trigger experiences related to the Apple Watch, Mac Pro, Apple Store, Starbucks, and a movie poster.

One particularly interesting augmented reality experience that Apple is testing is a "crosswalk bowling game," which we believe may allow Apple engineers to roll a virtual bowling ball across the crosswalk to knock down virtual bowling pins on the other side of the street while waiting for the pedestrian light to change from stop to go.

apple ar crosswalk bowling game
This crosswalk bowling game can only be triggered at an intersection near an Apple office known as "Mathilda 3" at 555 N Mathilda Ave in Sunnyvale, California, which may be one of the locations that Apple is developing its AR/VR headset. This office is located roughly five miles from the company's Apple Park headquarters in nearby Cupertino.

All of this suggests that Apple remains deeply invested in its AR/VR headset project, although development may have slowed as of late due to the ongoing pandemic that has forced many Apple engineers to work from home for now.

Related Roundup: Apple Glasses

Top Rated Comments

DaveOP Avatar
24 months ago

Apple can't revolution the AR without Steve Jobs.
Yeah, they also cant come out with the most popular smartwatch in history or the best selling wireless headphones either. Shame!!
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
djcerla Avatar
24 months ago
The actual controller will be bare hands, scanned by a LIDAR.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
AngerDanger Avatar
24 months ago

This crosswalk boarding game can only be triggered at an intersection near an Apple office known as "Mathilda 3" at 555 N Mathilda Ave in Sunnyvale, California, which may be one of the locations that Apple is developing its AR/VR headset.
My main takeaway is that for the past few months (years?), pedestrians at this intersection have witnessed Apple engineers playing infrequent games of discrete bowling.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Justanotherfanboy Avatar
24 months ago

I’m just imagining how silly people would look rolling an imaginary bowling ball down the crosswalk in public.
Has that stopped anyone from catching virtual Pokémon? =)
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
4487549 Avatar
24 months ago
This is the top secret project that Devs (Hulu) have been working on. The bowling ball is determinism. The pins are our multiple realities. Our perceived control over the ball is what we call "free will".
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
citysnaps Avatar
24 months ago

Apple just never seemed to me to be a toy manufacturer.....
Why limit the immense AR possibilities to just toys? There’s much more.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

airpodsinear 1

AirPods Save Woman's Life With Feature Everyone Should Know

Friday January 21, 2022 2:13 am PST by
Apple's AirPods have been credited with saving a woman's life after a potentially fatal fall, People reports. When a 60-year-old florist in New Jersey tripped and hit her head in her studio, she lost consciousness and awoke heavily bleeding. With nobody around to call for help, she realized she had her AirPods in, and used a "Hey Siri" command to call 911. An operator was able to stay on the ...
Upcoming Products 2022 Feature

Gurman: Apple Preparing 'Widest Array of New Hardware Products in Its History' for Fall

Sunday January 23, 2022 10:32 am PST by
Apple is working on a number of new products that are set to launch this fall, and Bloomberg's Mark Gurman says that it will be "the widest array" of new devices that Apple has introduced in its history. In his latest "Power On" newsletter, Gurman explains that Apple is working on four new flagship iPhones (iPhone 14, iPhone 14 Max, iPhone 14 Pro, and iPhone 14 Pro Max), an updated low-end Ma...
Questionable Design Decisions

Apple's Most Questionable Design Decisions in Recent Memory

Sunday January 23, 2022 2:59 am PST by
Apple has always emphasized the depth of thought that goes into the design of its products. In the foreword to Designed by Apple in California, a photo book released by the company in 2016, Jony Ive explains how Apple strives "to define objects that appear effortless" and "so simple, coherent and inevitable that there could be no rational alternative." But every once in a while even Apple...
top stories 2022jan22

Top Stories: Spring Apple Event Rumors, Apple Opposes Sideloading, and More

Saturday January 22, 2022 6:00 am PST by
As we roll into the latter half of January, we're starting to hear more about a potential spring Apple event, which is likely to take place in March or April. There are a number of potential announcements on deck, so an event would be a good opportunity for Apple to get them all out there. We've also been going back and forth on some iPhone 14 rumors, and we've taken a look at a number of...
att gigabit internet

AT&T Bringing $180/Month 5-Gigabit Internet to 70 Cities

Monday January 24, 2022 9:20 am PST by
AT&T today announced the launch of upgraded AT&T Fiber plans, which support speeds of up to 5 Gigabits for some customers. There are two separate plans, one "2 GIG" plan and one "5 GIG" plan, available to new and existing AT&T Fiber subscribers. According to AT&T, the new plans are available to nearly 5.2 million customers across 70 metro areas including Los Angeles, Atlanta, Chicago, San...
macbook pro 14 16 2021

Three Months After Launch, Apple Still Struggling to Meet Demand for Redesigned 14-Inch and 16-Inch MacBook Pro

Monday January 24, 2022 7:12 am PST by
Three months after their launch, the 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pros continue to experience high demand and seemingly short supply, with shipping dates for both models stretching into multiple weeks in several of Apple's key markets. In the United States, the baseline 14-inch MacBook Pro with the M1 Pro chip is estimated to ship in three to four weeks, promising an arrival by at least...
peloton tv workout cardio

Apple Floated as Potential Buyer of Peloton

Friday January 21, 2022 6:11 am PST by
Following months of bleak news about Peloton's "precarious state," including the revelation that it has halted production of its bikes and treadmills, Apple is being floated as a potential buyer of Peloton's troubled fitness business. Yesterday, CNBC reported that Peloton will temporarily stop production of its connected fitness products due to a "significant reduction" in consumer demand, a ...
Spring 2022 Apple Products Feature

New iPad Air, Macs, and iPhone SE With 5G Likely to Be Announced at Apple Event This Spring

Thursday January 20, 2022 8:32 am PST by
Earlier this week, Bloomberg's Mark Gurman tweeted that Apple "will be holding a spring event" to announce a new iPhone SE and other hardware. In a recent edition of his newsletter, Gurman said the event is likely to occur in March or April. Gurman did not elaborate on what "other hardware" will be announced at Apple's purported spring event, but rumors suggest at least four products are...