Apple Aiming to Sell AR Headset by 2020

Apple Aiming to Sell AR Headset by 2020

We have ARKit on our iPhones and iPads now, and Apple may extend to an augmented reality headset within a couple years.

And now according to Bloomberg, which cited people familiar with the situation, Apple aims to have technology ready for an augmented-reality headset in 2019 with a view to shipping it in 2020.

The 3:59 gives you bite-size news and analysis about the top stories of the day, brought to you by the CNET News team in NY and producer Bryan VanGelder. The new OS, meanwhile, is dubbed "rOS" for "reality operating system" and is based on iOS.

Apple was not immediately available for comment. Just look at what happened with the now dead "Project Titan", Apple's ambitious project to build a self-driving auto. If all goes well, we could see an AR headset as soon as 2020.

Bloomberg's sources don't shed any light on how the end user will control Apple's AR headset, mostly because Apple itself hasn't figured out a control method yet. These apps allow users to peek through the display to see information - such as games or even digital furniture - placed within the real world.

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Apple is reportedly working on an augmented reality (AR) headset that works as a standalone device.

Rumors of an Apple AR device have been circulating for some time.

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".

Apple's hope is to squeeze its graphics processors, AI chip and CPU into a smaller, one-size-fits-all package, akin to what it has done for the Apple Watch, the Bloomberg article stated. Citing sources "familiar with the situation", the report notes that this headset will feature a brand new display and run on a new chip and fresh operating system instead of the iOS mobile platform that now runs ARKit. The range of AR apps that are now being prototyped is said to include mapping and texting applications, as well as more advanced tools, such as virtual meeting rooms and 360-degree video playback.

Apple boss Tim Cook has previously said that he favours AR over VR, mainly because it is "less isolating". AR on smartphones is seen as a first step toward consumer adoption of the technology. "This means that they will not only introduce an head-mounted display, but show us a number of different applications that have developed that Apple feels best demonstrates the strengths of their tech offering" Nguyen said.