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10 Nov 2017

Apple to launch iPhone successor "AR Headset" in 2020

Apple's next big thing could be "AR headset"

Tech giant Apple is reportedly working on a "breakthrough product" to "succeed" the iPhone: Augmented Reality (AR) headset!

The Google Glass-like AR headset is likely to be unveiled in 2019 and expected to ship in 2020.

Sources said unlike the traditional Virtual Reality headsets, Apple's AR device wouldn't require a smartphone; it comes with its own display, processor, and operating system.

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In context

Apple's next big thing could be "AR headset"
Apple's next disruptive device to have new reality-powered OS

AR Glasses

Apple's next disruptive device to have new reality-powered OS

According to Bloomberg, Apple's AR headsets would run on "rOS" (reality operating system) based on the iOS, the iPhone operating system.

The report claimed just like macOS powers Macs, tvOS runs on Apple TV, and watchOS runs on Apple Watches, rOS will power the AR headset.

Apple's Former Software Manager for Games & Graphics, Geoff Stahl, is one of the "rOS" group's directors.

Apple's next big thing, after iPhone!

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Details

AR headset to house Apple's own chip

Just like Apple does with its other products, it is keen on creating a processor to power the AR headsets by itself, rather than depending on other companies.

It is designing something that is similar to Apple Watch's "system-on-a-package" in concept, which can include everything from AI (Artificial Intelligence) chip, graphics processors, CPU, etc. and occupy a small area while consuming less power.

Apple engineers using HTC Vive for testing

Testing

Apple engineers using HTC Vive for testing

As Apple doesn't have a headset of its own yet, it is currently experimenting with HTC Vive headsets for understanding and testing purposes.

The Cupertino giant is yet to determine how users would control the AR headset. It is testing user interfaces based on Siri-powered voice-activation, touch panels, and head gestures.

Sources said the timeline is "very aggressive, " but it could still change.

AR Apps

AR Headsets to have own version of App Store

Apple engineers are also developing the prototypes of a range of apps for the AR-powered smart headsets.

Apps they are currently exploring include maps, messaging, virtual meeting rooms, 360-degree video playback, etc.

The AR headset would have its own App Store from where users can download content, just like they do on iPhones, Macs, Apple Watch, and Apple TV.

Apple is seriously into Augmented Reality

AR Technology

Apple is seriously into Augmented Reality

Apple's "ambitious" roadmap reflects its interest in the Augmented Reality space.

Even during the company's recent earnings call, Apple CEO Tim Cook said, "AR is going to change the way we use technology forever."

With iOS 11, Apple strengthened its support for AR, saying that the reality technology offers "unlimited" possibilities.

It also demonstrated what its ARKit is capable of, at WWDC 2017.

ARKit

Apple has been working on AR-related projects

Apple's ARKit is a platform for software developers to create AR apps for iPhones and iPads, using their displays, processors, and cameras to build a 3D-interface for gaming, online shopping, and education.

Now, it is working on standalone smart device with similar abilities.

ARKit is considered Apple's foray into AR space that gave it an opportunity to test AR technology on existing devices.

Apple may launch new ARKit in 2018

Apple plans to launch the AR Glasses after two years; meanwhile, it is likely to bring newer AR features to iPhones and iPads. It may release an upgraded version of ARKit next year for developers to build more modern and better AR apps.

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