Apple Reportedly Developing Standalone AR Headset For 2019 Release

Allan Goodman
November 9, 2017

Apple will have the technology for an augmented reality (AR) headset ready by 2019, and may ship the product as early as 2020, according to a Bloomberg report.

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While Gurman claims such a device does actually exist, with the HTC Vive they apparently only exist for testing purposes, as Apple has a stand-alone device in mind running rOS, which stands for Reality OS, and similar to watchOS and tvOS it will be running a variant of iOS.

Of particular note here is the distinction between virtual and augmented reality. He didn't outright deny the rumours though, instead explaining there are technological issues preventing AR going mainstream this decade. In its place could be an augmented reality headset that won't need a separate mobile device to operate.

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 chip itself is another challenge, with Apple's recent efforts at putting the maximum amount of processing power into the smallest possible space - first in the Apple Watch and most recently in the iPhone X - still not up to the challenge of being small enough to power a pair of glasses without being too bulky.

Apple's headset will have its own display and run on a new chip and operating system, according to sources cited by Bloomberg-a change from the current AR and virtual reality (VR) headsets on the market, which use a smartphone to power the devices and act as a screen.

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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.

It is not yet known how users will control or interact with the AR projections, but Apple is reportedly experimenting with head gestures, Gear VR-style touch panel input, and Siri voice commands, among others.

Apple engineers are also said to be prototyping a range of applications, from mapping and texting to more advanced features including virtual meeting rooms and 360-degree video playback. The tools will also make it easier to create AR games for multiple players.

It certainly sounds like development on an AR headset is starting to come together over at Apple HQ, but we still have some time to wait before it's ready for a reveal. "We don't give a rats about being first, we want to be best in creating people's experiences".

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