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Apple’s AR headset may come out in 2020

Apple AR Glasses Concept
Image Credit: TechAcute

We’ve been hearing tales about Apple’s smart glasses for years now, but things have been pretty uncertain till date. A new report seeks to banish this uncertainty by claiming that the brand is developing a full-fledged augmented reality headset.

That’s according to Bloomberg which has gathered together evidence that Apple’s headset will boast of its own display, run on a brand-new chipset, and use an OS called rOS. The first sets it apart from devices that require a smartphone to get going, so an iPhone may not be needed as a portable screen.

As for rOS, it’s apparently based on iOS and stands for reality operating system. This makes sense, given the existence of macOS, watchOS, and tvOS for each of Apple’s products. The firm’s former software manager for games and graphics Geoff Stahl is said to be one of the directors for rOS.

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While Apple seems determined to see this through, it hasn’t finalized how people will control the AR headset and activate apps. It’s looking into touchscreens, head gestures, and Siri voice activations as possible methods. It’s apparently creating multiple prototype apps in its quest, ranging from mapping and texting to virtual meetings rooms and 360-degree video playback.

This sounds pretty similar to what the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive are capable of, so we’ll have to wait and see how Apple distinguishes from what the two are doing already. In fact, its engineers are supposedly using Vive and Gear VR headsets paired with an iPhone’s screen for internal testing under the code name “T288.”

If all goes according to plan, Apple will have the tech ready by 2019 and release the AR headset in 2020. This could easily change though, as the development timeline is supposedly very aggressive. The company hopes the device will serve as the next breakthrough product to succeed the iPhone, so expect to hear more about it in the years to come.