The company began to staff new engineers a few years ago to create a new device with which you can immerse yourself in the digital world.
CEO Tim Cook has repeatedly expressed his interest and excitement for virtual reality, saying that it's something that makes him want to "yell out and scream."
According to Bloomberg, the team building Apple's headset is also designing a processor that would power the device, as well as a new operating system it's now calling rOS, or "reality operating system".
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A new report from Bloomberg claims Apple is internally developing a top-secret AR headset codenamed "T288" for launch in 2020, a product that would run a a new "rOS" operating system based off of an iOS core.
The project could see completion within two years, and a finished product ready to ship as early as 2020, Bloomberg says, although it warns that this timeline is aggressive and subject to change.
Back in March, Bloomberg reported that Apple had put together a team specifically for AR-related projects, led by former Dolby Labs engineering head Mike Rockwell. It sounds like the best of both worlds, so it's understandable that Apple needs more time than usual to develop one for its AR headset. During the company's most recent earnings call, he said that the company believes "AR is going to change the way we use technology forever". It will also have a brand new OS, now labeled "rOS" for "reality operating system".
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The chip, according to the publication, will be similar in concept to the SoC found in the Apple Watch. Apple is said to be experimenting with a variety of different control schemes, including built-in touch pads and voice control through Siri. In the meantime, we can expect Apple to further flesh out ARKit as it prepares to make a larger push into the AR/VR industry with a headset of its own. Apple is also considering launching an App Store specifically for the headset.
Microsoft, which missed the mobile revolution boat nearly entirely, is also heavily focused on what it calls "mixed reality" (which includes both virtual and augmented reality), and has its own HoloLens headset. "I can tell you that the technology itself doesn't exist to do [AR glasses] in a quality way", Cook said to Vogue in October after dismissing "rumours and gossip" about the idea.
The company could release a new version of its ARKit software tools next year to give developers time to create content for the headset.
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