Apple Reportedly Developing Standalone AR Headset For 2019 Release

Angelica Greene
November 9, 2017

Apple's known to be planning for the post-smartphone future and has repeatedly signalled it believes augmented reality to be the next big thing. Apple plans to give its device all the hardware it needs to operate without a phone. The creators of the headset will be equipped with its own screen, and now it will be on the operating system rOS.

Cook said in an interview last month that quality AR headsets or glasses are not there yet technologically.

Because Apple doesn't yet have an augmented reality headset to call its own, the AR team in Cupertino is using HTC Vive headsets for testing purposes. And even though the headset is still more than two years from release, Bloomberg's sources said Apple's launch schedule is ambitious. A year ago it was reported Apple was working on its own version of Google Glass - smart glasses created to display images and information in its wearer's line of vision.

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According to Bloomberg, the team building Apple's headset is also designing a processor that would power the device, as well as a new operating system it's now calling rOS, or "reality operating system". Assuming Apple designs something that's cool and comfortable to wear, plus easy to use-which is an area where the company has a history. Apple's iOS 11 includes augmented reality support and a number of developers have already started embracing the technology. Microsoft has been squarely focused on business applications for its $3000 HoloLens headset, while at the same time using some of its technology to develop cheaper virtual reality devices. The chip itself is another challenge, with Apple's recent efforts at putting the maximum amount of processing power into the smallest possible space - first in the Apple Watch and most recently in the iPhone X - still not up to the challenge of being small enough to power a pair of glasses without being too bulky.

"Head-mounted displays will serve as a two-way stepping stone for the next stage of human-computer interactions alongside multi-modal interactions such as touch, gesture, movement, voice-all with AI enabled components (think Siri, Cortana, Google Assistant, Alexa)", Gartner analyst Tuong H. Nguyen told TechRepublic. Earlier that year, word spread that Apple has been secretly growing a large VR and AR research team, which had already constructed some prototype headsets. If all goes well, we could see an AR headset as soon as 2020. The headset will be capable of running its own apps, and have access to a dedicated version of Apple's app store.

Other reports by GizPress

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