Published: Thu, November 09, 2017
Hi-Tech | By Cory Rios

Apple shifts augmented reality efforts into high gear

Apple shifts augmented reality efforts into high gear

The headset will reportedly run a new operating system called "rOS" (reality operating system) that is based on iOS.

It's hard to imagine what this augmented reality headset will look like. 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. The chip will be similar in concept to the "system-on-a-package" component that's found inside the Apple Watch. Many had thought the iPhone X would have more augmented reality capability, but its key 3D sensing kit is on the front of the device to detect faces for unlocking and animation.

Tthe operating system has been dubbed "rOS", which means "reality operating system". Stahl used to be one of Apple's software managers for games and graphics.

Virtual reality headsets completely overtake what the user sees with screens situated close to the viewer. Currently, Apple is looking at touch panels, Siri control, and head gestures. It's possible that users will be able to download and install apps from an AR app store, much like they do across other Apple devices.

Bloomberg's report claims that Apple is now using HTC's Vive virtual reality headsets to test out all of its AR-related experiments.

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In his interview with Nikkei, Catcher CEO Allen Horng said that his company is now working on an AR device, but stopped short of specifically naming Apple.

For as cool as ARKit is today on our iPhones and iPads it's still a clever diversion and not something the average user sees as necessary. "There's virtual reality and there's augmented reality-both of these are incredibly interesting".

Although it declined to comment on the story, Apple has made no secret of its desire to harness augmented reality technology, with company CEO Tim Cook publicly praising the nascent tech. He said he's especially concerned with the "display technology" that would be required to place virtual elements over the real world. "I can tell you that the technology itself doesn't exist to do [AR glasses] in a quality way", Cook said to Vogue in October after dismissing "rumours and gossip" about the idea.

Could an AR headset really transcend the iPhone as Apple's number one product? The development timeline is very aggressive and could still change, said the people, who requested anonymity to speak freely about a private matter.

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