Published: Thu, November 09, 2017
Industry | By Dora Warner

Apple's rumored AR headset now has a codename and OS

Apple's rumored AR headset now has a codename and OS

Augmented reality is expected to become a new, major tech platform in the years to come, and Apple wants a piece of the action. Startup Meta has developed a headset with a focus on education and medical uses.

Apple's untethered headset would have a newly designed chip and operating system, according to Bloomberg's sources, though those details could change.

Geoff Stahl is reportedly leading the rOS team, which is still figuring out how users will interact with the device - touch panels, Siri voice controls and head gestures are all possible.

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Bloomberg's report claims that Apple is now using HTC's Vive virtual reality headsets to test out all of its AR-related experiments.

If the company really does have plans to ship some sort of headset in the next couple of years, that could give augmented reality a mainstream boost.

Earlier this month, CEO Tim Cook made his view on AR clear. "Something that you would see out in the market any time soon would not be something that any of us would be satisfied with".

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Apple has always been rumored to be secretly working on a standalone augmented reality device. Further, the report noted that one of the teams is working on a pair of glasses that are equipped with a 3D camera, but no screen. It wouldn't say which company it would make AR components for, but given its key relationship with Apple it's hard not to assume it's anyone but the Cupertino company. He didn't outright deny the rumours though, instead explaining there are technological issues preventing AR going mainstream this decade. "We're already seeing things that will transform the way you work, play, connect and learn", he said in the most recent call.

It is well known that Cook and Apple feel that AR has much more potential than virtual reality (VR), given how the technology allows for interaction with the physical world rather than immersing people in virtual ones. If Apple manages to stick to its 2019 date, then we may start seeing leaks and new information throughout 2018. Google, which drew derision for $1,500 smart glasses a few years ago, is developing a business-oriented variant. Rockwell previously ran engineering at Dolby Labs. The company is also said to be working on a new device that's akin to the Oculus Gear VR headset that relies on an iPhone's screen.

Apple's push to create an AR headset has been expansive and aggressive, according to Bloomberg.

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