One of the novelties Apple talked about during the iPhone X event in September was ARKit, the company’s new augmented reality platform that allows developers to incorporate AR features into their apps, or to make AR apps and games. And according to a recent report by Bloomberg, Apple may have a full-fledged AR headset in works.
The headset should come with a specially designed chip for powering it, display, and it should be based on a new standalone operating system designed specifically for the kit called “rOS” (reality operating system). So, unlike Microsoft’s HoloLens, which runs on a Windows Mixed Reality platform under the Windows 10, Apple AR headset should have an OS of its own, which should bring better optimization and make app development easier and faster.
Apple Headset Years Away
The headset is still years away and should be ready by 2019, with the consumer version ready by 2020. This should give engineers enough time for development, and since ARKit is already here the technology should mature enough by 2020 to offer a robust AR ecosystem once the headset comes out.
At the moment, Apple is testing ways to control the device including voice control via Siri, touch-based controls, and head gestures. Potential appliances explored at the moment include messaging, mapping and “virtual meeting rooms” that sounds very similar to Facebook’s virtual reality hangout app.
Since Apple still doesn’t have a working prototype of the device, engineers use HTC Vive headsets for testing the software, along with a special device that uses an iPhone’s screen for showing VR content (don’t expect the device to release to the public, it will only be used internally for development of the AR headset).
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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