Apple Augmented Reality Glasses Might Be Ready By 2019, Released In 2020

Leigh Mccormick
November 9, 2017

It is no secret that Apple is now infatuated with augmented reality technology.

That Apple is working on an Augmented Reality headset is by now an open secret, after the device was all but confirmed Bloomberg's Mark Gurman. This is part of a larger AR initiative which was kicked off by the development and the release of Apple's ARKit. It will have its own embedded display, run on a custom system-on-chip (SoC) that is being developed in-house, and have its own OS. Apple has been invested in AR for the past couple of years, starting with the formation of a team dedicated to AR projects. It's unclear if this device will support VR in any way, but the report does state that the company is using the HTC Vive for testing and that a device similar to Oculus and Samsung's Gear VR using iPhone components is also being used (though isn't meant to be sold).

Corroborating Bloomberg's information, a Nikkei report published yesterday suggested that Apple may have already tapped its metal casing supplier, Catcher Technology, to help it build out AR glasses or headset. Assuming Apple designs something that's cool and comfortable to wear, plus easy to use-which is an area where the company has a history. Instead Apple is trying to create a device that has its own display, powered by its own on-board chip and run its own operating system.

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It also has its team - the same one that made ARKit a reality - developing a special operating system for AR, for the moment dubbed "rOS" for "reality operating system".

"We're already seeing things that will transform the way you work, play, connect and learn". 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. It wouldn't say which company it would make AR components for, but given its key relationship with Apple it's hard not to assume it's anyone but the Cupertino company. Simply put, he said, Apple believes AR is forever going to change the way we use technology. 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.

It is not yet known how users will control or interact with the AR projections, but Apple is reportedly experimenting with head gestures, Gear VR-style touch panel input, and Siri voice commands, among others.

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