With the iPhone X out on the market, Apple is now dipping its toes into a new field. According to a report by Bloomberg, the company is working on a new augmented reality headset that will overlay the digital world on top of the real world. Apple is reportedly gearing up to release its AR headset that should be ready by 2019 and launch one year later if the development goes well.
The same report states that the new AR headset will have its own display and will run on a new chip as well as an operating system. Speculations suggest that the OS powering the device will be called ‘rOS’ and will be based on the popular iOS. The report states that the AR headset is being developed under the codename ‘T288.’
Apple CEO Tim Cook had earlier indicated that augmented reality is a more important technology than virtual reality as it takes a user out of the real world and dumps them completely in a digital world.
“We are already seeing things that will transform the way you work, play, connect and learn. Put simply, we believe AR is going to change the way we use technology forever,” he said.
The headset is likely to come with support for the AppStore which means users will be allowed to download and install apps like on iOS. The cited source said that because Apple doesn’t have a fully operational headset of its own, the company is using HTC Vive headsets for testing purposes. The report states that the company has not finalised how users will control the headset and launch apps, but is investigating touch panels, voice-activation via Siri and head gestures.
Bloomberg said Apple isn’t the only company working on the technology; Google is reportedly working on a business-oriented variant. Start-up Meta has developed a headset with a focus on education and medical uses. HTC and Oculus are developing new virtual reality headsets. The new ‘mixed reality’ headsets by Microsoft cannot be ignored too.
Apple is planning to release a new version of ARKit software tools as early as 2018. The tool will make it easier to create AR games for multiple players.