Published: Sat, November 11, 2017
Science | By Cecil Little

Key Apple Supplier Has Been Working on AR Glasses Tech

Key Apple Supplier Has Been Working on AR Glasses Tech

Apple CEO Tim Cook has been outspoken about his interest in AR, saying, however, that the technology to create a good AR system did not exist yet.

It is believed that the company will have the technology in place for this by 2019, meaning that they could begin shipping the product as early as 2020 but the development timeline has been described as "very aggressive" meaning that it could change suddenly. And according to a recent report by Bloomberg, Apple may have a full-fledged AR headset in works. It has been reported that the augmented reality team is being led by Mike Rockwell, former engineer at Dolby Labs. Scattered across office parks in both Cupertino and Sunnyvale, California, the team is working on several hardware and software projects under the umbrella code name of "T288". Apple recently made its most recent Macs compatible with external GPUs and the HTC Vive for the purposes of developing VR content, so this seems like one motivating factor. It will bear similarities to the "system-on-a-package" component in the Apple Watch.

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The headset will reportedly run an adjusted version of Apple's iOS operating system called "rOS" (reality operating system).

The upcoming headset could be a major success, especially since AR is still in its infancy and if Apple be the first company to offer a fully functional, easy to use, and powerful AR headset along with a strong lineup of AR apps and games, the company may hit bull's eye once again, as it did with the iPhone and iPad.

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Research is well underway for the User Interface, with Apple investigating touch panels, voice activation via Siri and head gestures, so the final product could use a combination of these controls, dependent upon circumstances.

Apple is working on several challenges like battery life. Apple doesn't plan to sell the gadget but instead aims to use it internally to test AR apps next year.

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