Apple is rumored to be working on its next revolutionary product, in the form of an augmented reality headset that could be sold as early as 2020.
Apple CEO Tim Cook has repeatedly said that augmented reality is a significant part of the company's future. Apparently, that future is already coming, confirming previous reports that Apple is working on augmented reality glasses.
Apple Augmented Reality Headset In The Works
Bloomberg reported that the augmented reality headset that Apple is working will be very different compared to the virtual reality headsets of Samsung and Google. While the Samsung Gear VR and the Google Daydream View use smartphones as both the display and the engine, the Apple AR headset will come with its own display. The device will also have a new chip and operating system, said sources familiar with the matter.
The new operating system, named the reality operating system or rOS, may have a separate app store. Just how it will be used within the AR headset, however, has not yet been finalized, with Apple looking at touch panels, Siri voice commands, and head gestures as possible options.
Apple's aggressive timeline for the augmented reality headset might still change. However, currently, the plan is to have the technology ready by 2019 and roll out the product by 2020.
The report also claimed that Apple assembled a team named T288, made up of hundreds of engineers that are working on the AR headset. Testing is being carried out on HTC Vive VR headsets and devices that are similar to Oculus' Samsung Gear VR headsets.
Apple's Progress In Augmented Reality
There is always the possibility that Apple will scrap or downsize the project, just as what has happened with Project Titan. Apple was rumored to be planning to manufacture its own self-driving car, but the project is now apparently about an accessory that may grant regular vehicles self-driving capabilities.
T288, unlike Project Titan, already has some success to show for its efforts. It is the same team that developed the ARKit, which are the tools that Apple sent to software developers for the creation of augmented reality apps for the iOS 11.
The next step of building the augmented reality headset will be much more complicated, but its applications would be endless. For example, users can watch sports games and have access to the stats on the side, or wearers on travels can get on-screen directions telling them where exactly to go for their preferred destination.