Looks like the next-generation iPad Pro is coming sooner than we think, and will be even more AR-optimized than ever before.
According to Bloomberg, or at least according to its trusted sources, Apple is planning to release a brand new full-size tablet product sometime during mid-2020. Among its prominent new enhancements, is an updated Face ID-based system that would use a sort of “3D sensor”, to aid in the reconstruction of virtual objects within the environment. Yes, this would seem to be a newer augmented reality system that aims to make virtual object insertion more accurate, and potentially more immersive (despite only being seen through a tablet screen).
Based on the information known, Apple will be pushing for the implementation of this 3D sensor as the primary feature of the rumored next-generation iPad Pro. Then, it will eventually be the main feature of all later generation iPhones slated for release later on.
Speaking of augmented reality, the same report has also given the rumor that Apple actually plans to develop and commercially release its own mixed reality headset, most likely as early as 2022. This will be followed up by another wearable product, this time a pair of AR glasses, sometime the next following year. The technical focus of these products seems to be entertainment, either for introducing brand new video game experiences or enhancing current AR/VR conference app capabilities.
If you currently own the latest iPad Pro (2018), then this report might come as a rather unsettling surprise. Should the rumors be proven correct, this will not be just a straightforward hardware upgrade. It could potentially be a completely different product, with all of the new technologies involved.
So much for one-and-a-half-year “current generation” iPad Pro.
As for what the 3D sensor really is, it’s anybody’s guess. Apple has never really been the first company to reveal corporate technological secrets, like ever.