How to see the AR easter egg hidden in Apple’s Sept. 15 event invite

Augmented reality could play a part in the September Apple Event
The logo for the September Apple Event is more than just a simple graphic. It’s an AR object.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Hidden in Tuesday’s invite to the September Apple event is a clue that might confirm rumors that this company will make a major push into augmented reality.

The graphic for the invite is an apple sketched out with blue swirls. iPhone and iPad users can put that design in motion, with it seemingly appearing in the real world.

How to see the AR in September Apple Event invite

To see the Easter Egg, go to the official Apple Events page on an iPhone or iPad.

Next, tap on the blue Apple graphic you see on that web page. (It’s underneath “Add to your calendar.”) That will launch the ARKit augmented-reality viewer built into iOS/iPadOS.

The Apple graphic will be virtually placed in the space behind your computer through the power of AR. And it’ll quickly  begin to move, with the curved lines swirling to form “9.15,” the date of Apple’s event.

Like any well-designed AR object, Apple’s graphic is 3D. Walk around it to see the logo from any side.

iPhone 12 is expected to embrace augmented reality

This AR Easter Egg isn’t really coming out of nowhere. Numerous but unconfirmed reports over the last few months indicate Apple is about to embrace augmented reality. It actually started the push by building a 3D scanner into the 2020 iPad Pro released this spring.

And the iPhone 12 is supposedly getting its own version of this lidar scanner. Along with an updated AR viewer application.

The fact that Apple put an AR Easter Egg in the invite to the September 15 event suggests that the iPhone 12 will be unveiled at that time. However, unconfirmed reports on Tuesday indicate that the Apple Watch Series 6 and iPad Air 4 are going to be the big announcements, with Apple holding back the iOS 14 handset until October.

To add further confusion, press invites include a tag line for the September Apple Event: Time Flies. That could be a reference to the new Apple Watch. Or it could be a pun about the lidar scanner in the iPhone 12, which is a type of time-of-flight sensor.