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Apple Is Moving Forward on an Augmented Reality Headset

09 November 2017, 12:51 | Eugene Bates

Apple Is Moving Forward on an Augmented Reality Headset

Apple's AR headset planned for 2020

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

The in-house chip would have a similar design to what's now in the Apple Watch, which allows for more components in a smaller area.

This headset is said to be the next brand new product, along the lines of the Apple Watch. While virtual reality (VR) headsets place the user in a thoroughly digital world, augmented reality (AR) would overlay digital information onto the real one.

"Head-mounted displays will serve as a two-way stepping stone for the next stage of human-computer interactions alongside multi-modal interactions such as touch, gesture, movement, voice-all with AI enabled components (think Siri, Cortana, Google Assistant, Alexa)", Gartner analyst Tuong H. Nguyen told TechRepublic.

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

Is that enough? Will Microsoft remain the leader in the Mixed Reality space, or will Apple and its vast consumer savvy take over, much like it did with the iPhone and the iPad? It will also have its own chipset, and an operating system now known as rOS, according to Bloomberg anonymous sources familiar with the device.

Bloomberg notes that Apple doesn't have a fully operational headset of its own either, so most of the testing is being done on the HTC Vive virtual reality headset as well a a device similar to an Oculus Gear VR that uses the screen, cameras, and chipsets of the iPhone.

Current prototype apps include virtual meeting rooms and even 360 degree video playback, both of which sound better suited to VR rather than AR.

According to the report, Apple is looking into using its expert knowledge in designing custom silicon to create a more power-efficient chip for the headset. Apple is said to be discussing the possibility of launching a new type of App Store for the headset where users can download compatible AR apps.

If Cook is right, the next big disruptor in technology could be coming sooner than expected.

We always thought that glasses were not a smart move, from a point of view that people would not really want to wear them.

KitGuru Says: Given all of Tim Cook's gushing about Augmented Reality over the a year ago, this news isn't too surprising. They were intrusive, instead of pushing technology to the background, as we've always believed. Let us know below.

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