TECHNOLOGY

Apple’s next big thing might be on its way: The iPhone maker is eyeing a mobile robot

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Apple’s next big thing might be on its way: The iPhone maker is eyeing a mobile robot

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Apple is still on the lookout for the next big thing to keep its market dominance intact and to explore fresh streams of revenue, especially after scrapping its plans for an electric vehicle (EV). And it looks like it might have found it.

Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman reports that Apple is exploring personal robotics, with insiders suggesting it could be one of the company’s next major endeavors.

Apple’s dabbling in robotics is just getting started, but reportedly, the company is already tinkering with a mobile robot that can be your sidekick at home. Plus, it had already developed a tabletop gadget that uses a robot to move a screen around.

The concept behind the latter is to create a device that mimics head movements and can focus on one person in a group, likely to enhance the video call experience. With plans for these robots to move autonomously, Apple is also exploring the use of navigation algorithms to make it happen.

According to the report, Apple’s home devices group is leading the development of these robots, and at least one engineer from its abandoned EV project has joined the team.

Getting into robotics could help Apple expand its reach into homes and make the most of AI advancements. However, exactly how the Cupertino tech giant will go about it is still up in the air.

While it is reported the company is further along with the robotic smart display than the mobile robot, it’s been a bit of a rollercoaster with this device, showing up on and disappearing from Apple’s product roadmap a few times in the past, according to insiders.

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Reportedly, before pulling the plug on the EV project, Apple had emphasized to its top brass that its future was centered around three key areas: automotive, home technology, and mixed reality.

With the car plans shelved and the debut of its first mixed-reality offering, the Vision Pro headset, Apple’s attention has pivoted to other prospects, including enhancing its position in the smart home sector with a mobile robot or a tabletop robotics project.

But, as per the report, there have been concerns within the company about whether consumers would be willing to shell out a premium price for such devices.

According to Gurman, just down the road from its headquarters in Cupertino, California, Apple has a secret facility that looks like a real house. It is where the company tests out new ideas for home gadgets. Apple has been considering other concepts for the smart home market as well, such as a new home hub device featuring an iPad-like display.



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