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Apple readying AR headset for 2020 - Report

iPhone maker working on custom chip and rOS for new headset, using HTC Vive to test projects

Apple CEO Tim Cook has clearly stated that augmented reality is the future but the tech isn't good enough yet, so it's probably not surprising to hear that Apple is working on better AR tech. According to a Bloomberg report citing people familiar with the iPhone maker's plans, Apple is working on an AR headset that could ship in 2020 at the earliest.

The headset is planned to have its own display and run on a custom Apple chip and operating system dubbed rOS (reality operating system). The custom chip will be designed to help keep power consumption and size of the headset to a minimum.

While a retail rollout is expected in 2020 or later, the technology could be ready in some form in 2019. In the absence of proper prototypes, engineers and Apple AR developers have been testing out ideas using HTC Vive headsets, and are planning to move to non-commercial Rift-like devices built around iPhone hardware next year.

One key question surrounding the headset is what sort of interface it may use. Apple is reportedly trying out touch panels, voice commands, and hand gestures as ways to launch apps, but hasn't settled on an approach as of yet.

Apple declined Bloomberg's request for comment.

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