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Report: Apple Developing AR-Powered Headset for 2020 Release

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Bloomberg has released a new report aiming to shed light on Apple’s current efforts in the augmented reality space. In the report, Apple aficionado Mark Gurman says the company is currently working on a new AR-powered headset that features a display, specially-designed chipset, and a new iOS fork called “rOS,” or “reality operating system.” The company, at the moment, is reportedly using HTC Vive VR headsets to perform tests and determine the potential of AR in a headset. They’re also working to determine how users will interact with the technology such as with gestures, touch, and voice control.

In the past, Apple has been rather vocal about its AR efforts. In the most recent earnings call, CEO Tim Cook stated: “We’re already seeing things that will transform the way you work, play, connect and learn.” He followed up by saying: “Put simply, we believe AR is going to change the way we use technology forever.”

And there’s proof of concept the company is serious about this. Apple’s ARKit, which debuted in iOS 11, is already paving the way AR is being delivered to consumers. Now with a new headset supposedly based on the same technology, the company will be taking major leaps to deliver it to average people who could benefit from it based on their life styles.

One way Apple could be utilizing its AR headset, Bloomberg says, is in the gaming space where multiplayer AR games could become a reality. The headset could also be used for redesigning your home by placing virtual furniture in a room. According to Bloomberg, Apple is also prototyping applications such as maps, messaging, virtual meeting rooms, and 360-degree video playback, all for AR. These would supposedly live in the App Store where all other applications for the company’s platforms live.

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Furthermore, Bloomberg says Apple is aiming to deliver an upgraded version of ARKit called ARKit 2.0 next year which will reportedly focus on remembering where a virtual object is in physical space even after you look away.

As for when we can expect this headset, Bloomberg says Apple could unveil it in as early as 2019, with a release to the public in 2020. Until then, we’ll likely hear much more surrounding this effort in future reports. All in all, the future of AR looks pretty interesting. And it looks like Apple will make it that way.

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