Apple shifts augmented reality efforts into high gear

Apple is building augmented reality glasses that overlay the digital world on top of the real world Report

Apple is building augmented reality glasses that overlay the digital world on top of the real world Report

According to a new report from Bloomberg, Apple's working towards a dedicated AR headset that could one day succeed the iPhone and will be launched at the start of the next decade. The upcoming AR headset is expected to be a standalone product that won't need an iPhone in order to work.

Just like the Apple Watch, the augmented reality headset will have its own microprocessor and its own version of an operating system called rOS, which we presume will be based off of iOS just like watchOS and tvOS.

Microsoft, of course, is already well ensconced in the AR/VR world, having launched a v1 HoloLens past year as a $3,000 Developers Edition, and has talked about a HoloLens version 2, with built-in AI processing, but that device apparently won't ship until 2019.

Corroborating Bloomberg's information, a Nikkei report published yesterday suggested that Apple may have already tapped its metal casing supplier, Catcher Technology, to help it build out AR glasses or headset.

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Tthe operating system has been dubbed "rOS", which means "reality operating system".

To be competitive in the space, Apple will likely focus on marketing, Nguyen said, and positioning their product in a way that users both understand it and want to use it. Stahl used to be one of Apple's software managers for games and graphics.

This latest report provides a better picture of where Apple is at in the development process, trying to get away from the traditional model of using a smartphone as the screen and engine.

It is not yet known how users will control or interact with the AR projections, but Apple is reportedly experimenting with head gestures, Gear VR-style touch panel input, and Siri voice commands, among others.

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Because Apple doesn't yet have an augmented reality headset to call its own, the AR team in Cupertino is using HTC Vive headsets for testing purposes.

Some of Apple's competitors, including Microsoft and Google, have already delivered augmented reality headsets.

Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook recently told British Vogue that the technology for augmented-reality glasses isn't ready yet. The virtual reality headsets that are presently on the market use the smartphone as the engine and screen.

But while viewing AR objects through a phone screen now works, what everyone really wants is a headset that puts digital information right in front of your eyes.

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Cook said in an interview last month that quality AR headsets or glasses are not there yet technologically.

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