Apple preparing to release AR headset in 2020


The headset would feature its own display rather than relying an iPhone, and it would run a new spin-off from iOS in the vein of watchOS or tvOS, now called rOS internally, for "reality operating system".

"The development timeline is very aggressive and could still change", Bloomberg writer Mark Gurman noted, citing anonymous sources familiar with the project. As of the time of this writing, Apple did not respond to a request for comment.

READ NEXT:DAQRI launches its professional AR smart glasses With the public launch still so distant, the design and functionality of the device are a long way off being confirmed. The tech giant has certainly been ramping up its work in the AR space over the past year. In the meantime, we can expect Apple to further flesh out ARKit as it prepares to make a larger push into the AR/VR industry with a headset of its own.

AR headsets already exist, but they mainly rely on smartphones for their processors and screens. Apple has been invested in AR for the past couple of years, starting with the formation of a team dedicated to AR projects. These apps allow users to peek through the display to see information - such as games or even digital furniture - placed within the real world. Apple CEO Tim Cook has previously explained his interest in AR as a less isolating alternative to VR.

"Put simply, we believe AR is going to change the way we use technology forever", said Cook, during Apple's latest earnings call. The chip could be similar to the integrated system used on the Apple Watch. "rOS" will be based on iOS which is the operating system of Apple's other iDevices. The company is also discussing using its own version of the App Store within the device so users can easily download apps they want to play or use. 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. In particular, the paper discusses the application of touch panels, voice activation via Siri and control using head movements.

Microsoft has also been promoting 3rd party development of what it's calling "Mixed Reality", bringing the same development experience to cheaper virtual reality devices and the HoloLens.

I can't wait to see Apple's AR headset arrive.

This is likely why the company introduced the ARKit when it did.

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