Apple is reportedly readying its own Augmented Reality headset for 2019

09 November, 2017, 01:55 | Author: Julian Harrison
  • Apple's AR headset planned for 2020

KitGuru Says: Given all of Tim Cook's gushing about Augmented Reality over the a year ago, this news isn't too surprising.

Apple will have the technology for an augmented reality (AR) headset ready by 2019, and may ship the product as early as 2020, according to a Bloomberg report.

According to those "familiar with the situation" the Apple headset will boast its own display, a newly-designed processor and a brand new operating system.

Cook has been shouting out the potential of AR for a long time, but as recently as October, he told reporters that "the technology itself doesn't exist" yet for anyone to produce a quality augmented reality device. "Put simply, we believe AR is going to change the way we use technology forever".

Apple did not immediately respond to PCMag's request for comment.

Speaking of hardware, Apple's metal framing and case supplier for the iPhone, Catcher Technology, says it will start making lightweight casing for augmented reality devices, reports Nikkei. Sources claim that the team has now grown to several hundred engineers, stationed at each of Apple's California campuses.

AR headsets have been developed by other tech competitors with little success so far, from Google Glass to Microsoft Hololens - which uses both augmented reality and virtual reality - and even Snapchat's Spectacles.

Microsoft, of course, is already well ensconced in the AR/VR world, having launched a v1 HoloLens past year 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.

In fact, the same team is also working on a new version of ARKit that would add persistence tracking features and lay better groundwork for multiplayer AR experiences and games. It's designing one in-house that's similar in concept to the "system-on-a-package" component in the Apple Watch.

This is where the custom-built processor and operating system, internally dubbed rOS (reality operating system) will come in.

Apple hasn't finalized how users will control the headset and launch apps, but is investigating touch panels, voice-activation via Siri and head gestures. 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.

It's hard to imagine what this augmented reality headset will look like.



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