Apple May Unveil Standalone AR Headset in 2019

Posted November 10, 2017

Augmented reality (AR) is a form of VR that blends virtual objects into real world settings.

This morning, Bloomberg reported that Apple is indeed working on an AR (augmented reality) device, aiming to ship in 2020. Apple CEO Tim Cook did say last month that the technology to integrate AR on a pair of glasses doesn't exist yet and that kind of tech today wouldn't be implemented "in a quality way".

The company has not figured out how users will run the program and adjust the headset.

Unlike the current generation of virtual reality headsets that use a smartphone as the engine and screen, Apple's device will have its own display and run on a new chip and operating system, according to people familiar with the situation.

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Gurman said on his report that Apple is planning to design its own chip for the upcoming AR headset. And now it looks like the company might be looking to officially release its headset in 2020.

Mike Rockwell, who previously led the engineering efforts at Dolby Labs, is at the helm of a team of several hundred engineers from across Apple all working on various hardware and software projects - including the AR headset - under the codename "T288", Bloomber reports. In his comments about Apple's future in AR glasses, Cook said Apple doesn't make a habit of rushing to be first if that means delivering a sub par product and doesn't intend to start now.

It also has its team - the same one that made ARKit a reality - developing a special operating system for AR, for the moment dubbed "rOS" for "reality operating system".

Apple publicly demoed a number of unusual and exciting augmented reality apps created with its new ARKit developer framework over the last few months.

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As for the Apple AR headset's user interface, Apple hasn't finalized anything yet. This in-house chip is similar to the concept of "system-on-a-package" that can be seen in the Apple Watch.

In a recent earnings call, he said: "We're already seeing things that will transform the way you work, play, connect and learn".

According to Bloomberg, the iPhone maker is now experimenting with ways in which the headset can be operated, like using Siri, head gestures or a touch panel. Additionally, engineers within the company are "prototyping a range of applications, from mapping and texting to more advanced features including virtual meeting rooms and 360-degree video playback", according to the report.

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