Apple AR Headset Running 'rOS' Rumored for 2019 Launch

Apple AR Headset Running 'rOS' Rumored for 2019 Launch

Instead of immersing the user into a digital world, AR augments and overlays images and data to the user in the real world. It's not clear whether the device's design is ultimately expected to resemble a headset similar to Microsoft's HoloLens or something closer to a pair of glasses.

It seems that Apple began assembling a team to work on AR-related projects a couple of years ago, Bloomberg reported in March.

The report also notes that there has been broader investment by entertainment companies as well as technology firms, pointing out the significant investment by companies such as Six Flags Entertainment in its effort to update its theme parks with mixed reality technology.

Apple's hope is to squeeze its graphics processors, AI chip and CPU into a smaller, one-size-fits-all package, akin to what it has done for the Apple Watch, the Bloomberg article stated. Sources tell the publication that the device will have its own display and run on a new chip and operating system, unlike Samsung's Gear VR and Google's Daydream headsets, both of which rely on phones to do the heavy lifting. The creators of the headset will be equipped with its own screen, and now it will be on the operating system rOS. Possible ways to control the smart glasses include touch panels, voice commands and head gestures, though final decisions may not be made until one or two years down the line.

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"Put simply, we believe AR is going to change the way we use technology forever", said Cook, during Apple's latest earnings call. Apple's standalone AR headset will not require a connection to a computer or a mobile device.

However, during his interview with The Independent, Cook said he wasn't concerned about "being first". Apple reportedly has no plans to release an iPhone-powered headset, however.

Apple has already formed the engineering group tasked with making the AR headset a reality. The company is also discussing using its own version of the App Store within the device so users can easily download apps they want to play or use.

Apple publicly demoed a number of odd and exciting augmented reality apps created with its new ARKit developer framework over the last few months. "Now anything you would see on the market any time soon would not be something any of us would be satisfied with", Cook said, adding, "Nor do I think the vast majority of people would be satisfied".

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