Apple reportedly working on augmented reality headset for 2019

Janie Parker
November 10, 2017

Apple is reportedly working on a standalone augmented reality headset, which would be ready by 2019 and ship by 2020, according to Bloomberg.

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With public support from Apple CEO Tim Cook, Apple sees augmented reality as a possible next step in its future.

The Californian company is working on a headset with inbuilt screen and native operating system, and hopes to have the technology ready by 2019, Bloomberg alleges. It will also have its own chipset, and an operating system now known as rOS, according to Bloomberg anonymous sources familiar with the device. Apple is already getting users familiar with interacting with mixed reality, and enabling apps that could port over to its eventual dedicated device.

VR and AR headsets are beginning to proliferate in the market, but they mostly require another device.

Corroborating Bloomberg's information, a Nikkei report published yesterday suggested that Apple may have already tapped its metal casing supplier, Catcher Technology, to help it build out AR glasses or headset.

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However, during his interview with The Independent, Cook said he wasn't concerned about "being first". "AR is going to change everything".

With the headset at least two years away, Apple wants developers to bring new AR features to the iPhone, such as multiplayer capabilities for games and more innovative apps for the consumer.

Back in March, Bloomberg reported that Apple had put together a team specifically for AR-related projects, led by former Dolby Labs engineering head Mike Rockwell.

Think the Apple Watch family's "System in Package", combining a CPU, graphics processor, AI chip and possibly even more components to occupy significantly less space than a conventional smartphone SoC.

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 is also reportedly testing different methods for controlling the headsets such as touchscreens and voice activation using Siri.

In an earnings call last week, Cook hinted that a big augmented reality push could be coming from his company and said that new technologies "will transform the way you work, play, connect, and learn". "Something that you would see out in the market any time soon would not be something that any of us would be satisfied with".

Other reports by TheDailyFarc

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