"My own view is that augmented reality is the larger of the two, probably by far, because this gives the capability for both of us to sit and be very present talking to each other, but also have other things visually for both of us to see". The company wants to have the headset's core technologies completed by 2019. According to the report, Apple is looking at 2019 to announce the product and ship as early as 2020.
There are several real-world applications of AR, however, Apple has close competition from Google wherein the latter is working on a business-oriented variant of the Google Glass as pointed out in the report. But Tim Cook has thrown cold water on the idea that the technology is anywhere near ready for Apple to ship a product to consumers, saying, "Today I can tell you the technology itself doesn't exist to do that in a quality way".
The benefits of that strategy may also manifest in the AR headset, with the new chip being similar to the "system-on-a-package" chip that now powers Apple Watch. Of course, we may never actually see an AR wearable from Apple, but it's exciting to think of the possibilities here. The standalone AR headset will reportedly feature a new chip and run a custom operating system based on iOS, internally dubbed "rOS" - short for "reality operating system".
There is no comfirmation how Apple's AR device will be controlled, but the Bloomberg report suggested that the firm is investigating touch panels, voice-activation (via Siri) and head gestures.
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Could an AR headset really transcend the iPhone as Apple's number one product?
It is well known that Cook and Apple feel that AR has much more potential than virtual reality (VR), given how the technology allows for interaction with the physical world rather than immersing people in virtual ones.
Augmented reality in a pair of glasses would be extremely hard.
Apple engineers are said to be now prototyping a range of applications for use in AR, reportedly using HTC Vive headsets for testing them. Startup Meta has developed a headset with a focus on education and medical uses.
"We're already seeing things that will transform the way you work, play, connect and learn", Cook said on a November 3 conference call with analysts. He didn't outright deny the rumours though, instead explaining there are technological issues preventing AR going mainstream this decade.