Apple has been talking about augmented reality (AR) of late. ARKit enables engineers to make augmented reality applications for iOS gadgets. This is evidently just the initial step, however. Bloomberg reports that Apple plans to build an AR headset by 2019 to be released the year after. The organization is hoping to make a gadget that will change the game as much as the iPhone did back in 2007.
Tim Cook said in an interview last month that quality AR headsets or glasses are not there yet technologically. “I can tell you the technology itself doesn’t exist to do that in a quality way,” Cook told British newspaper The Independent. “The display technology required, as well as putting enough stuff around your face — there’s huge challenges with that. The field of view, the quality of the display itself, it’s not there yet.”
Apple isn’t occupied with the current AR gadgets that use a telephone as both the screen and the processor. The AR headset will be comprehensive, with its own screen, and an Apple-made chip. It will also have a new operating system, marked “rOS” for “reality operating system.” It’s conceivable that clients will be able to download and introduce applications from an AR application store, much as they do over other Apple gadgets. Systems for connecting these applications—whether by head signals or through Siri—hasn’t been decided yet, according to Bloomberg.
In the meantime, Apple is banking on the potential of ARKit apps to revolutionize a mobile user’s relationship with the iPhone. “Put simply, we believe AR is going to change the way we use technology forever,” said Cook, during Apple’s latest earnings call. “We are high on AR for the long run. We think there are great things for customers and a great commercial opportunity.”
Since Apple doesn’t have an augmented reality headset of its own yet, it’s using other organizations’ gadgets to test features for their gadgets. Mysterious sources told Bloomberg that the HTC Vive is the headset of preference for engineers. The group is currently taking a shot at an AR gadget that will use the iPhone’s screen, camera, and processors. It won’t be available for buyers, though; it will be for internal manufacturers.