Apple is developing software to make it easy for users of its upcoming mixed-reality headset to build their own augmented reality apps, according to four people who have worked on the headset.
With the software tools, Apple hopes that even people who don’t know computer code could tell the headset, via the Siri voice assistant, to build an AR app that could then be made available via Apple’s App Store for others to download. The tool, for example, could allow users to build an app with virtual animals moving around a room and over or around real-life objects without the need to design the animal from scratch and calculate its movement in a 3D space with obstacles.
If Apple succeeds, it would be a major advance in AR app development. AR apps are currently challenging to develop, and without fresh content, the new hardware could have limited appeal. While the tools are aimed partly at software developers, Apple hopes that consumers will be able to use them as well, just as its Final Cut Pro video editing tool can be used by both consumers and professionals.