Sunday, 17 December, 2017

Apple is secretly working on an AR headset for 2020

Apple working on an AR headset powered by rOS for release in 2020, claims report Apple may launch an augmented reality headset running a custom OS by 2020
Stacy Diaz | 09 November, 2017, 00:51

AR could help Apple re-energize its fan base and re-establish its mobile leadership, according to TechRepublic's Conner Forrest. The creators of the headset will be equipped with its own screen, and now it will be on the operating system rOS.

In September, at the launch of the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus, Apple's senior vice president of worldwide marketing Phil Schiller touted it as the "first smartphone designed for AR".

The company could release a new version of its ARKit software tools next year to give developers time to create content for the headset. In virtual reality (VR), the running has been done by HTC with its Vive headset, which was developed with Valve Software and runs via Valve's popular Steam PC game download service.

The report further goes to point that Apple CEO Tim Cook spoke on Good Morning America saying "We're already seeing things that will transform the way you work, play, connect and learn". With companies like Magic Leap waiting in the wings it makes sense for Apple to indicate its intentions in the space.

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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. He didn't outright deny the rumours though, instead explaining there are technological issues preventing AR going mainstream this decade.

It also has its team - the same one that made ARKit a reality - developing a special operating system for AR, for the moment dubbed "rOS" for "reality operating system". The chip will be similar in concept to the "system-on-a-package" component that's found inside the Apple Watch.

As for input, the company is allegedly experimenting with touch panels, voice activation serviced by Siri and head gestures. Aetna workers are co-located at Apple's offices in Cupertino, he said, as the company looks to have a variety of apps ready in time for the January 1 start of the Apple Watch pilot program.

Bloomberg reports that the headset will have its own display, and that it will be powered by a dedicated chip and operating system. Apple is said to be discussing the possibility of launching a new type of App Store for the headset where users can download compatible AR apps. They're also using a device like the Oculus Gear VR headset that uses an iPhone's screen, cameras, and chipsets.

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