Apple Wants to Sell an Augmented Reality Headset by 2020

Apple Bets Big on Augmented Reality With iPhone X

Is that enough? Will Microsoft remain the leader in the Mixed Reality space, or will Apple and its vast consumer savvy take over, much like it did with the iPhone and the iPad?

Apple has always been rumored to be secretly working on a standalone augmented reality device.

READ NEXT:DAQRI launches its professional AR smart glasses With the public launch still so distant, the design and functionality of the device are a long way off being confirmed. This was just a first step, however, which could ultimately help to bring the new headset to life with a new operating system.

Reportedly, Apple is looking to introduce a "breakthrough product" that could eventually succeed the iPhone as its flagship device, according to a Bloomberg report on Wednesday.

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We have ARKit on our iPhones and iPads now, and Apple may extend to an augmented reality headset within a couple years. The company does not have a working headset of its own yet, so in the meantime, it has been using the Rift and HTC Vive for testing.

Bloomberg said an Apple team is building the headset and a special chip for it. A native part of iOS 11, Apple claimed that its combination of APIs, natural language processing capabilities, and third-party frameworks made it the "largest AR platform in the world". Things could still change, but for now, that seems to be the timeframe Apple is working towards.

The eventual AR headset will reportedly be powered by an iOS variant now codenamed rOS, or "reality operating system".

"Put simply, we believe AR is going to change the way we use technology forever", said Cook, during Apple's latest earnings call. These apps allow users to peek through the display to see information - such as games or even digital furniture - placed within the real world.

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This OS will be based on iOS and comes after Apple also produced bespoke operating systems for Apple TV (tvOS) and Apple Watches (watchOS). The release of the device is at least two years away, but the 2020-ish launch will likely be preceded by an announcement and developer SDK in 2019.

More detail includes that Apple is still considering how to control the device, using either head gestures and voice or a touch panel.

If everything goes according to plan, Apple's first independent AR headset could produce "virtual meeting rooms and 360-degree video playback" in 2020, as well as support a range of mapping and texting apps accumulated in a dedicated version of the App Store.

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