While virtual reality (VR) headsets place the user in a thoroughly digital world, augmented reality (AR) would overlay digital information onto the real one.
Citing unnamed sources “familiar with the situation”, Bloomberg reports that Cupertino is moving ahead with the development of an AR headset, which it aims to start selling by 2020-a loose deadline that could be pushed back.
Also on today’s podcast, we talk about Snap’s lousy quarterly results and Twitter doubling its character limit to 280.
Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook recently told British Vogue that the technology for augmented-reality glasses isn’t ready yet. Apple hopes to be able to have the requisite technology to make its headset a reality by 2019 and then get it to customers soon after.
According to sources speaking with Bloomberg this week, Apple is now developing an augmented reality headset with its own in-built display.
It became known that the new device will have its own display as well as a new operating system.
According to the report, North America remains the dominant force in the growth of MR technology, due to companies such as Canon, Infinity Augmented Reality, Magic Leap, Ubisoft and Microsoft’s work on the HoloLens. As the prototype of the headset is still not complete, Apple is reportedly using HTC Vive VR and Oculus Gear VR headsets to progress with its efforts. Apple’s “rOS” will power the AR headset very much like how watchOS and tvOS powers the Apple Watch and the Apple TV. Aetna workers are co-located at Apple’s offices in Cupertino, he said, as the company looks to have a variety of apps ready in time for the January 1 start of the Apple Watch pilot program. 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”. Simply put, he said, Apple believes AR is forever going to change the way we use technology. But considering Apple’s big ARKit push for developers in iOS 11, the company doesn’t seem to be wasting time. It is led by Mike Rockwell, who previously was the engineering boss at Dolby Labs. But as it will run an AR headset, it will have to function differently from the mobile OS.
As for the Apple AR headset’s user interface, Apple hasn’t finalized anything yet. Apple is also reportedly testing different methods for controlling the headsets such as touchscreens and voice activation using Siri.