Apple is reportedly making an AR headset to compete with HoloLens

Apple augmented reality Apple AR headsets Apple iPhones ARKit virtual reality headsets Tim Cook iPads virtual 3D interfaces 3D video streaming system-on-a-packet component Apple Watch AI chip graphics processors iOS watchOS tvOS rOS Siri

Because Apple doesn't yet have an augmented reality headset to call its own, the AR team in Cupertino is using HTC Vive headsets for testing purposes. The chip will be similar in concept to the "system-on-a-package" component that's found inside the Apple Watch. It is not the first time when we noticed what Apple thinks, is the ideal form-factor for an AR headset.

Whether glasses or headset, the new device is likely to display messages and calls in front of the wearer's eyes, and could be controlled via head or eye gestures and virtual assistant Siri.

According to Bloomberg, the iPhone maker is now experimenting with ways in which the headset can be operated, like using Siri, head gestures or a touch panel.

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.

Augmented reality in a pair of glasses would be extremely hard. As expected, Apple will be using its own SoC design to power the headset, rather than relying on a third-party to make a chip that meets its requirements/expectations.

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Bloomberg, which claims to have spoken with "people familiar with the situation", suggests the headset will have its own display, as opposed to using an iPhone as its screen. The OS that the Apple AR headset would use will be specially designed, and is being referred to as the "rOS" or "reality operating system". He didn't outright deny the rumours though, instead explaining there are technological issues preventing AR going mainstream this decade.

Avid tech geeks will notice Apple's plans sound a lot like what Google's fledgling Daydream VR platform, which consists of the Daydream View VR headset with controller, and a special version of the Google Play Store just for discovering and installing VR apps.

Cook, himself, has warned that AR glasses aren't coming soon. "But today I can tell you that the technology itself doesn't exist to do that in a quality way", Vogue quoted Cook as saying.

KitGuru Says: Given all of Tim Cook's gushing about Augmented Reality over the previous year, this news isn't too surprising. Virtual reality places a user inside a virtual world, completely removing them from the physical world. We always thought it would flop, and, you know, so far it has.

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