Apple Aims to Introduce Augmented Reality System in 2020

Apple Aims to Introduce Augmented Reality System in 2020

According to Bloomberg, Apple aims to have the augmented-reality headset ready by 2019 and to ship the product as early as 2020. In its newest iOS mobile operating system iteration, Apple introduced ARKit, an augmented reality platform that allows apps to overlay three-dimensional graphics on top of real-world viewing through the iPhone and iPad.

Sources familiar with the plan told Bloomberg that the AR system, unlike current headsets, would not need an accompanying smartphone to function.

Apple CEO Tim Cook said, "I regard it as a big idea, like the smartphone". Led by Mike Rockwell, who previously ran engineering at Dolby Labs, the group has now grown to several hundred engineers from across Apple, the people said.

The headset should come with a specially designed chip for powering it, display, and it should be based on a new standalone operating system designed specifically for the kit called "rOS" (reality operating system).

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Apple and Corning didn't respond to a request for comment on whether these research and development efforts will also include augmented reality glass products. Scattered across office parks in both Cupertino and Sunnyvale, California, the team is working on several hardware and software projects under the umbrella code name of "T288".

Apple engineers are also developing the prototypes of a range of apps for the AR-powered smart headsets.

The next step - creating a headset with a built-in display capable of streaming 3D video without draining the battery - is much more complicated. 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.

Testing is being done internally on the HTC Vive and a device that uses an iPhone screen but is similar to a Samsung Gear VR, per the report. The two companies said at the time that the investment was meant to support Corning's research and development as well as capital equipment needs and glass processing capabilities.

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