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Apple x Valve – games company to help with AR glasses?

Apple has been rumored to be exploring the idea of an augmented reality (AR) headset for years, ever since Google’s disappointing “Glass” experiment almost a decade ago.

We’ve seen a few more scraps of intel this year suggesting that such a device is still in development – for example, developers have discovered references in the code of iOS 13 to an AR system codenamed “StarBoard” that hints at a wearable accessory. Last year, Apple acquired a company known for making holographic lenses for AR glasses, stoking the fires even further.

The latest story to hit the rumor mill suggests Apple is partnering with the well-known game developer Valve to launch its AR headset, which will land some time next year.

Valve is known for developing some of the best-rated games of all time, including Half-Life and Portal, and for creating the incredibly popular online game store Steam. Valve knows gaming to a tee, but it’s also familiar with the technical side of developing wearables, having launched a virtual reality headset earlier this year.

This particular report comes from DigiTimes, a publication with an inconsistent track record for rumors – half the time its spot on, the other half it misses the mark by a long way. But it backs up another report from a much more trustworthy source in analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, in which he suggests Apple is working with third parties to launch an AR product early in 2020.

If true, it looks like we won’t have to wait too long to see what Apple and Valve have in store for us.