Apple developing a device of augmented reality

Posted November 10, 2017

And now it looks like the company might be looking to officially release its headset in 2020.

So saysBloomberg, which claims that the firm is in the process of "ramping up" its plans to launch an AR device which would take on rival products from the likes of Microsoft, Facebook's Oculus and HTC. The company wants to have technology for a headset ready by 2019, and sell it as early as 2020, according to the report.

AR headsets have been developed by other tech competitors with little success so far, from Google Glass to Microsoft Hololens - which uses both augmented reality and virtual reality - and even Snapchat's Spectacles.

The report also notes that there has been broader investment by entertainment companies as well as technology firms, pointing out the significant investment by companies such as Six Flags Entertainment in its effort to update its theme parks with mixed reality technology. This in-house chip is similar to the concept of "system-on-a-package" that can be seen in the Apple Watch.

All signs point toward Apple ramping up its push into the AR sphere.

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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.

More detail includes that Apple is still considering how to control the device, using either head gestures and voice or a touch panel.

"We're already seeing things that will transform the way you work, play, connect and learn", Cook said on a November 3 conference call with analysts. There are considerable technical challenges with getting the display quality right, with Cook specifically referencing field of view as an area that's "not there yet". Apple's standalone AR headset will not require a connection to a computer or a mobile device. Apple is said to be discussing the possibility of launching a new type of App Store for the headset where users can download compatible AR apps.

Apple boss Tim Cook has previously said that he favours AR over VR, mainly because it is "less isolating".

Apple publicly demoed a number of odd and exciting augmented reality apps created with its new ARKit developer framework over the last few months. The company has high hopes for this device, and we may see it revealed sometime in 2019.