Apple will create a augmented reality headset

Apple will create a augmented reality headset

Apple CEO Tim Cook has not been shy about his admiration for augmented reality, and how the company thinks its a potentially huge deal for everyone from regular Joes and Janes to big business.

Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) plans to have an augmented reality headset ready in 2019 and shipping as early as the following year, according to Bloomberg.

Bloomberg, which claims to have spoken with "people familiar with the situation", suggests the headset will have its own display, as opposed to using an iPhone as its screen. The headset would feature its own display rather than relying an iPhone, and it would run a new spin-off from iOS in the vein of watchOS or tvOS, now called rOS internally, for "reality operating system".

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Cook also said in a recent earnings report that augmented reality, which overlays digital images onto the real world, will "change the way we use technology forever". As we've seen from other AR developers, minimizing technology to work in an AR headset is still a hard proposition. Such a system would benefit from being able to implement Apple's ARKit API directly without any significant modifications at all, which should mean a ready pool of software available right of the bat.

The team is reportedly testing their work with HTC Vive VR headsets and "a device similar to an Oculus Gear VR headset", with goal to build a fully integrated headset that includes a display and cameras powered by a custom chipset.

The group of engineers working on AR projects is led by Mike Rockwell and has grown to several hundred. In the build-up to this headset's launch, Apple will be improving the ARKit to make it easier for developers to create content. However, this device in particular won't be released as a consumer product and will simply be used internally to test AR apps next year. 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".

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As promising as an AR headset sounds, it's also important to remember that Apple could scrap such plans at any time.

This OS will be based on iOS and comes after Apple also produced bespoke operating systems for Apple TV (tvOS) and Apple Watches (watchOS). However, the tech giant is said to be studying touch panels, voice control using Siri and even using head gestures to control the Apple AR headset's user interface.

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