Apple 'Prepares' AR Headset For 2020 Launch

Apple Is Said to Ramp Up Work on Augmented Reality Headset

With public support from Apple CEO Tim Cook, Apple sees augmented reality as a possible next step in its future.

According to the report, North America remains the dominant force in the growth of MR technology, due to companies such as Canon, Infinity Augmented Reality, Magic Leap, Ubisoft and Microsoft's work on the HoloLens.

Bloomberg, which claims to have spoken with "people familiar with the situation", suggests the headset will have its own display, as opposed to using an iPhone as its screen.

Apple's headset will have its own display and run on a new chip and operating system, according to sources cited by Bloomberg-a change from the current AR and virtual reality (VR) headsets on the market, which use a smartphone to power the devices and act as a screen. "AR is going to change everything". Apple has reportedly declined to comment.

In the gap between now and release, Apple apparently intends to release a new version of ARKit with better software tools that make AR development much easier next year.

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

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.

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

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). Previous rumors have revealed that Apple has hundreds of engineers working on AR applications and has developed multiple prototypes for AR glasses, and some bolder bloggers have even speculated that a partnership with Zeiss would lead to a viable product coming out this year. It is reported the AR team is working on several hardware and software projects under the umbrella code name of "T288". Work is ongoing on a dedicated processor for the device and designs have been commenced for its "rOS" operating system, short for "reality operating system". We could still see some sort of affordable Apple Gear AR device someday, especially if the company falls behind on its plans for the AR holy grail. Augmented reality on the other hand is basically a digital world overlay for the real world. The report says the tech giant's "investigating touch panels, voice-activation via Siri and head gestures".

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