The AR headset is one of the many hardware and software projects, under the umbrella code name “T288”, a team of Apple engineers is working on. The same team built the ARKit which is used to develop AR apps for iPad and iPhone. A Bloomberg report says the headset could be out on the market by 2020.
What’s more about Apple’s AR headset is it would feature a new operating system called rOS (short for reality operating system), based on iOS. One reason why Apple puts AR over VR is that the former is closer to reality. CEO Tim Cook has acknowledged the same in the past.
Apart from this, Apple engineers are also working on another headset similar to Gear VR, which will run on iPhone’s capabilities. But the headset will only be used internally for testing AR apps. For now, Apple engineers are known to be using HTC Vive for testing purposes.
The report says that the headset’s thinking part would be done by a home-baked “system-on-a-package” chip which can house more components in less area and consumes less battery. Similar to what is seen on Apple Watch.
One thing that’s still uncertain is control options for the AR headset. Apple is exploring possibilities in touch panels, Siri-powered voice control, and head gestures. The headset would have its own version of the App Store as well, just like it’s for the iPhone, Apple TV, and Watch.
What are your views on Apple’s AR headset? Is Apple late in the VR party? Drop your thoughts in the comments.