Apple plans to have augmented-reality headsets by 2020

09 November, 2017, 01:53 | Author: Juana Mckenzie
  • Apple working on an AR headset powered by rOS for release in 2020, claims report

Instead Apple is trying to create a device that has its own display, powered by its own on-board chip and run its own operating system.

The new AR operating system is also dubbed "rOS", much like tvOS is for Apple TV and macOS is for Macs, Bloomberg reported.

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Employees of Apple are developing an augmented reality headset. In a recent earnings report, CEO Tim Cook said that the AR technology will "change the way we use technology forever". If Apple manages to stick to its 2019 date, then we may start seeing leaks and new information throughout 2018. It's unclear if this device will support VR in any way, but the report does state that the company is using the HTC Vive for testing and that a device similar to Oculus and Samsung's Gear VR using iPhone components is also being used (though isn't meant to be sold).

Microsoft, of course, is already well ensconced in the AR/VR world, having launched a v1 HoloLens a year ago as a $3,000 Developers Edition, and has talked about a HoloLens version 2, with built-in AI processing, but that device apparently won't ship until 2019.

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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. "My own view is that augmented reality is the larger of the two, probably by far, because this gives the capability for both of us to sit and be very present talking to each other, but also have other things visually for both of us to see".

Speaking to Bloomberg, they said that Apple is working on a tough product development timeline, although it's likely to change over the coming months. The report says the tech giant's "investigating touch panels, voice-activation via Siri and head gestures". Apple is already getting users familiar with interacting with mixed reality, and enabling apps that could port over to its eventual dedicated device. The same team developed the ARKit, Apple's first major step into augmented reality. For launch apps, engineers are said to be already prototyping a range of applications that involves mapping, texting, holding virtual meetings and watching 360-degree videos. Multiple challenges remain unsolved, including designing a wireless device that can display AR visuals for long enough without depleting the battery. We could still see some sort of affordable Apple Gear AR device someday, especially if the company falls behind on its plans for the AR holy grail.

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