Apple wants AR headset to 'succeed' the iPhone by 2020

Nov 10, 2017, 01:02
Apple wants AR headset to 'succeed' the iPhone by 2020

Apple's iOS 11 includes augmented reality support and a number of developers have already started embracing the technology.

We don't know too many details about the headset, but it sounds like it will be a direct competitor to Microsoft Hololens.

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Speaking to Bloomberg, they said that Apple is working on a tough product development timeline, although it's likely to change over the coming months.

Apple has seemed largely uninterested in the virtual reality fad, and that may be because it has plans for a different kind of experience. And as Apple gets closer to potentially becoming the world's first trillion-dollar publicly traded company, it needs to continue to surprise and amaze its fans with "one more thing".

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AR could help Apple re-energize its fan base and re-establish its mobile leadership, according to TechRepublic's Conner Forrest.

The Apple AR headset is said to have its own display and run a new chip with a new operating system, according to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman. This "reality operating system" is of course in the very early stages of development, but until the first hardware prototypes are ready sometime in 2019, the standalone AR-enabling software could be tested on tweaked HTC Vive units and even Gear VR-like shells compatible with iPhones. It wouldn't say which company it would make AR components for, but given its key relationship with Apple it's hard not to assume it's anyone but the Cupertino company. "The field of view, the quality of the display itself, it's not there yet".

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Sources familiar with the matter tell Bloomberg that the device will differ from traditional VR and AR headsets in that it won't be powered by a smartphone. Further, Bloomberg notes that the company is exploring several uses of the headset like mapping, virtual meeting rooms and messaging. Cook believes that augmented reality will be able to change the current use of technology. The company is also discussing using its own version of the App Store within the device so users can easily download apps they want to play or use. The report claims that Apple plans to release the ARkit 2.0 in 2018 which will make it easier to create AR games for multiple players. "Now anything you would see on the market any time soon would not be something any of us would be satisfied with", Cook said, adding, "Nor do I think the vast majority of people would be satisfied".

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