Apple Aiming to Sell AR Headset by 2020

Posted November 10, 2017

Instead, Tim Cook has been very clear about the perceived groundbreaking potential of augmented reality, so far timidly leveraged by iOS app developers using the inaugural ARKit, as well as the iPhone X's innovative but still primitive TrueDepth camera system. Apple hopes to be able to have the requisite technology to make its headset a reality by 2019 and then get it to customers soon after. Though we may not see the headset for another couple of years, Apple is said to be pouring resources into its development. Why so long? Apple seems to be okay with taking its time in development, waiting for technology to catch up with what it wants to do.

The benefits of that strategy may also manifest in the AR headset, with the new chip being similar to the "system-on-a-package" chip that now powers Apple Watch.

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Apple has been talking a lot about AR lately.

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". READ NEXT:Google launches new spatial audio toolkit to help VR sound design Cook recently acknowledged the calls for Apple to build an AR headset or smart glasses, saying he "doesn't give a rats" about being the first to the idea.

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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. Entertainment is expected to retain the leading share, driven by the continuing demand from videogame enthusiasts and location-based MR experiences, as well as MR smartphone applications, with Transparency Market Research citing the technology used in hit title Pokemon Go as an examaple of MR technology, which uses real-world location data alongside AR elements to blend the real and virtual environments.

Apple engineers are said to be now prototyping a range of applications for use in AR, reportedly using HTC Vive headsets for testing them. Apple reportedly has no plans to release an iPhone-powered headset, however. And even though the headset is still more than two years from release, Bloomberg's sources said Apple's launch schedule is ambitious. The company is also using its own devices for testing purposes, but doesn't plan to ship any of its current gear to consumers.

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An AR headset would be a major expansion of Apple's wearable platform, which thus far consists exclusively of Apple Watch. "This means that they will not only introduce an head-mounted display, but show us a number of different applications that have developed that Apple feels best demonstrates the strengths of their tech offering" Nguyen said.