But while viewing AR objects through a phone screen now works, what everyone really wants is a headset that puts digital information right in front of your eyes. Apple plans to give its device all the hardware it needs to operate without a phone.
But while we may have known of Apple's AR ambitions for quite a while, today's Bloomberg report unearths an interesting piece of information: a new operating system.
The iPhone was Apple's last big technology breakthrough when it launched 10 years ago. 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).
Earlier this year, Bloomberg reported that Apple started developing a team for AR-related projects about two years back.
"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. Moving that experience to something that lets you keep your hands free will feel more natural and could help push augmented reality into the consumer mainstream. 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.
According to Bloomberg, the chip powering the headset will be similar in concept to the "system-on-a-package" component in the Apple Watch, which can fit more components like graphics processors into a smaller area than standard processors, and consume less power.
This latest report provides a better picture of where Apple is at in the development process, trying to get away from the traditional model of using a smartphone as the screen and engine. According to Bloomberg, Apple is also designing its own in-house chip to power the AR headset and is also building a new operating system dubbed "rOS" for "reality operating system".
More detail includes that Apple is still considering how to control the device, using either head gestures and voice or a touch panel. Apple is said to be discussing the possibility of launching a new type of App Store for the headset where users can download compatible AR apps. It is not the first time when we noticed what Apple thinks, is the ideal form-factor for an AR headset.
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