Apple reportedly working on augmented reality headset for 2019

Apple augmented reality Apple AR headsets Apple iPhones ARKit virtual reality headsets Tim Cook iPads virtual 3D interfaces 3D video streaming system-on-a-packet component Apple Watch AI chip graphics processors iOS watchOS tvOS rOS Siri

Bloomberg reports it's the same team that was first responsible for ARKit, Apple's set of tools that allows developers to create augmented reality applications for the iPhone and iPad, and new version of ARKit could debut in 2018.

Apple's headset, instead of relying on smartphone, will come with its own display, processor and operating system, insiders suggest. 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". In particular, the paper discusses the application of touch panels, voice activation via Siri and control using head movements. The company does not have a working headset of its own yet, so in the meantime, it has been using the Rift and HTC Vive for testing.

"The development timeline is very aggressive and could still change", Bloomberg writer Mark Gurman noted, citing anonymous sources familiar with the project.

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

Speaking of hardware, Apple's metal framing and case supplier for the iPhone, Catcher Technology, says it will start making lightweight casing for augmented reality devices, reports Nikkei.

An Apple employee showcases the augmented reality on iPhone 8. In a recent earnings report, CEO Tim Cook said that the AR technology will "change the way we use technology forever".

Cook believes augmented reality is a more important technology than virtual reality.

AR is one of a number of emerging technologies, although it hasn't yet had the impact of virtual reality.

Indeed, in October, Microsoft and Samsung released a Windows Mixed Reality headset called the Samsung HMD Odyssey-a premium AR headset that could be a strong option for businesses looking to explore the technology. Rockwell previously ran engineering at Dolby Labs. The product is part of several new gadgets being crafted under the T288 code name, Bloomberg said.

If Apple wants to lead the segment, it will have to learn from the mistakes that Google made with the Google Glass.

In the AR space, Google tried to push its innovative smart glasses (dubbed "Google Glass") back in 2013, but they ultimately failed to take off due to a series of privacy concerns and the lack of any killer apps.

Related news: