10 November, 2017
The Apple AR headset will be unique, as it will have its own display, a chip and an OS, says Bloomberg, citing people familiar with the situation. Citing sources "familiar with the situation", the report notes that this headset will feature a brand new display and run on a new chip and fresh operating system instead of the iOS mobile platform that now runs ARKit. However, the tech giant is said to be studying touch panels, voice control using Siri and even using head gestures to control the Apple AR headset's user interface.
Apple's team has used HTC Vive headsets as it works to develop a prototype for its own headset. Apple reportedly has no plans to release an iPhone-powered headset, however.
Gurman says Apple sees the AR device as the "breakthrough product to succeed the iPhone" and is aiming to ship it in 2020. At the time, Cook said that such a product won't be ready "anytime soon". The team is now working on an AR device that will use the iPhone's screen, camera and processors, but notes that it will not be available for consumers. ARKit allows developers to create augmented reality apps for iOS devices, and it's already resulted in some pretty interesting stuff. As we've seen from other AR developers, minimizing technology to work in an AR headset is still a hard proposition.
The report mostly jibes with CEO Tim Cook's recent interview with The Independent, in which Cook said, "But today I can tell you the [AR] technology itself doesn't exist to do that in a quality way".More news: Amazon's New Smart Lock Lets Amazon Delivery People Into Your House
KitGuru Says: Given all of Tim Cook's gushing about Augmented Reality over the past year, this news isn't too surprising.
Microsoft has also been promoting 3rd party development of what it's calling "Mixed Reality", bringing the same development experience to cheaper virtual reality devices and the HoloLens. Rockwell previously ran engineering at Dolby Labs. Apple's "rOS" will power the AR headset very much like how watchOS and tvOS powers the Apple Watch and the Apple TV.
If Apple wants to lead the segment, it will have to learn from the mistakes that Google made with the Google Glass.
In the AR space, Google tried to push its innovative smart glasses (dubbed "Google Glass") back in 2013, but they ultimately failed to take off due to a series of privacy concerns and the lack of any killer apps. The product is now being offered to enterprise users.