Apple shifts augmented reality efforts into high gear

09 November, 2017, 00:54 | Author: Pamela Mathis

Apple is working to have an augmented reality headset developed by 2019 and shipped out to consumers as early as 2020, Bloomberg reports. 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. 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.

The Apple AR headset will be unique, as it will have its own display, a chip and an OS, says Bloomberg, citing people familiar with the situation.

Apple has seemed largely uninterested in the virtual reality fad, and that may be because it has plans for a different kind of experience.

The development timeline is reportedly very aggressive and could still change, according to the report. Augmented reality overlays virtual objects on the real world and can be used in a variety of ways, including in video games, corporate settings, and more.

Corroborating Bloomberg's information, a Nikkei report published yesterday suggested that Apple may have already tapped its metal casing supplier, Catcher Technology, to help it build out AR glasses or headset. Apple has several patents related to the technology.

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Since the release of Apple's iOS 11 mobile operating system on September 19, over 1,000 AR apps have been approved for the iPhone and iPad. The standalone AR headset will reportedly feature a new chip and run a custom operating system based on iOS, internally dubbed "rOS" - short for "reality operating system". He didn't outright deny the rumours though, instead explaining there are technological issues preventing AR going mainstream this decade.

I can't wait to see Apple's AR headset arrive. 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. Apple has already launched its ARKit with iOS 11 this year, so an Apple AR headset is not much of a surprise.

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.

Although it declined to comment on the story, Apple has made no secret of its desire to harness augmented reality technology, with company CEO Tim Cook publicly praising the nascent tech.

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