Apple's Reportedly Shooting to Have its AR Headset Ready For Manufacture By 2019
The iPhone X is
, and Apple
are just fine, but
's reliable Apple leak machine, the team in Cupertino is hard at work on an AR
Cook has been shouting out the potential of AR for a long time, but as recently as October, he told reporters that "the technology itself doesn't exist" yet for anyone to produce a quality augmented reality device.
But considering Apple's big
push for developers in iOS 11, the company doesn't seem to be wasting time. Apple is already getting users familiar with interacting with
As with previous products, Apple isn't waiting around for someone else to create a chip capable of powering its AR headset. It's designing one in-house that's similar in concept to the "system-on-a-package" component in the Apple Watch. Such chips can squeeze more components - graphics processors, AI chip, CPU - into a smaller area than standard processors; they also consume less power.
As devices are getting smaller and thinner, the race to fit more components into a single chip is crucial. Intel recently partnered up with AMD to pack a processor, GPU, and RAM onto one chip that's expected to be used in laptops. Shrinking down the components to build a headset that can handle 3D video, interaction, have an acceptable battery life, and be comfortable to wear for long periods of time is a tall order. Apparently Apple's engineers don't even have a prototype good enough to use in their own testing, so for now, they're working with HTC Vives to tweak the rOS-or "reality operating system."
, is reportedly leading the
As for the apps, Bloomberg reports that a new version of ARKit may show up 2018. The update would help smooth the process of eventually transitioning content to the dedicated headset. Persistent tracking would allow users to place a virtual object in a location in the real world, and return to it in the same position over time-one step closer to a shared Metaverse -esque virtual world. And better tools for creating multiplayer games are expected.
The report says Apple is also putting together its own version of
But with buckets of cash, strong iPhone sales, and a sluggish pace from its competition, there's plenty of time for Cook and company to just wait until they can really impress people.
[ Bloomberg ]