Apple to Unveil Augmented-Reality Headset Running 'rOS' in 2020

Apple working on an AR headset powered by rOS for release in 2020, claims report

In the meantime, Apple plans to release a new version of the ARKit software tools as early as 2018, Bloomberg reported, which could help developers create software that remembers accurately where a digital object is placed in a virtual space, and make it easier to create AR games for multiple players.

According to the well-connected Apple reporter Mark Gurman, Apple has the loftiest ambitions imaginable for its rumoured Augmented Reality headset.

The eventual AR headset will reportedly be powered by an iOS variant now codenamed rOS, or "reality operating system". Currently, Apple is looking at touch panels, Siri control, and head gestures. A mass-usable prototype does not seem to have arrived yet, though; the report says that Apple is using HTC Vive headsets and an in-house design that uses an iPhone screen to test some aspects of the technology. Aetna workers are co-located at Apple's offices in Cupertino, he said, as the company looks to have a variety of apps ready in time for the January 1 start of the Apple Watch pilot program. "Aggressive" timetable Apple's set out a "very aggressive" timetable to build the device, anonymous people "familiar with the situation" told Bloomberg. At the time, Cook said that such a product won't be ready "anytime soon".

Mixed reality (MR) is a relatively newcomer to the technology field, though is usually filed alongside the related technologies of virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR). Further, the report noted that one of the teams is working on a pair of glasses that are equipped with a 3D camera, but no screen.

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It's hard to imagine what this augmented reality headset will look like. During the company's most recent earnings call, he said that the company believes "AR is going to change the way we use technology forever". Cook also said that the display technology required for that kind of product poses huge challenges. This type of chip would allow Apple to put more components inside a smaller chassis than a standard processor. Right now, the plan is to only use that device internally, but who knows where the tech landscape will be in two years. Sources claim that the team has now grown to several hundred engineers, stationed at each of Apple's California campuses. Rockwell previously ran engineering at Dolby Labs. The company is working on a Gear VR-like device that will use the iPhone as a display, but it will be only for internal use.

In September, at the launch of the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus, Apple's senior vice president of worldwide marketing Phil Schiller touted it as the "first smartphone designed for AR".

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

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