Apple’s next headset could usher in its first search engine

Rumors that Apple was building its own search engine have persisted for years. Although they’ve generally been taken with a grain of salt, a new report from an industry veteran lends weight to the idea, suggesting it will launch alongside Apple’s new headphones.

Author and blogger Robert Scoblewho is plugged into the happenings of Silicon Valley, recently shared his thoughts on Twitter about next week’s Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) and Apple’s plans to introduce the world to “a new form” of augmented reality.

Scoble suggests that Apple has three events planned to get us started with its new vision for augmented reality and virtual reality, the first of which will be WWDC next week. This will be followed by the reveal of the actual helmet in early 2023 – likely in January – and then a “get ready to buy” event that he expects to have around June, possibly with WWDC 2023.

If you were hoping to see Apple show off the headset next week, Scoble says that’s not going to happen. Instead, he thinks we’ll get a glimpse of “a new development environment for a new kind of photorealistic 3D scenes, avatars, and more,” as well as “surprises few people expect. “.

This could take the form of Apple unveiling its new “realityOS” which we’ve already heard a lot about. However, it’s also possible that Apple will skip the full operating system announcement and instead focus on ARKit-style development APIs, as it has done in the past.

A new search engine

In laying out his predictions for Apple’s headphones, Scoble dropped another bombshell: a new search engine that could finally make Siri “smart”.

When asked for a little more information, Scoble replied that it was not just a guess, but rather something he had heard “from many places”, especially during a dinner meeting six years ago with the head of Siri.

Although the leader of Apple’s Siri team is long gone, that doesn’t necessarily mean that Apple’s ambitions are gone with him. The problem, says Scoble, is that it needed a new AI that didn’t exist at the time. It seems to be an example of Apple’s ambitions to get ahead of technology.

Does this mean Apple is planning to take on Google?

To be clear, a search engine can mean many things. The fact that Scoble names Siri as its core component suggests that it won’t be a direct competitor to Google, at least not in the traditional sense.

First of all, Google pays Apple a stupid amount of money for the best placement on the iPhone. Apple isn’t about to give that up unless it’s sure it can do a whole lot more by standing out on its own – and that’s highly unlikely. Google makes a ton of money from search because it’s in the business of advertising and data collection; Apple makes user privacy a selling point, which leaves little to no room for taking advantage of people’s online behavior.

Apple already indexes much of the web; this is what led to rumors that he is building a search engine. However, it does this to power features like Siri and Spotlight. This part is probably the key to what Scoble is saying.

I’m also quite sure it’s no coincidence that Scoble brought this up alongside his discussion of Apple’s AR/VR headset plans. If you think about it, more powerful Siri-based search will help make a mixed reality headset useful for more than just narrow vertical apps like gaming.

For example, while you can invoke many searches from Siri, the data you often retrieve is limited at best. For iPhone and iPad users, it’s not the end of the world since you can always fall back on Google – and Siri will often take you there automatically when it can’t give you results on its own. .

If you’ve ever tried using Siri to search for something on a HomePod, Apple Watch, or via CarPlay while driving, you know how frustrating it can be. Wander outside of the few things Siri knows, and you’ll basically be told to go get your iPhone.

However, if Apple expects its new headset to truly usher in a whole new world of mobile computing, that’s something that can’t happen. Siri needs to get much smarter if it wants to power life experiences through augmented reality.

[The information provided in this article has NOT been confirmed by Apple and may be speculation. Provided details may not be factual. Take all rumors, tech or otherwise, with a grain of salt.]

Amanda J. Marsh