Apple shifts augmented reality efforts into high gear

Posted November 09, 2017

For years now there have been reports that Apple has been exploring the development of a wearable augmented reality device, ever since Apple gained an AR patent in 2013 when it acquired WiFiSlam. And according to a Bloomberg report, Apple will have its AR ducks in a row in terms of production by 2019, and could ship a product by 2020.

The 3:59 gives you bite-size news and analysis about the top stories of the day, brought to you by the CNET News team in NY and producer Bryan VanGelder. Such a system would benefit from being able to implement Apple's ARKit API directly without any significant modifications at all, which should mean a ready pool of software available right of the bat.

A look at Apple's AR capabilities on iOS 11. Oculus and HTC are building virtual reality headsets, and Microsoft 's new "Mixed Reality" headsets also take advantage of VR. READ NEXT:Google launches new spatial audio toolkit to help VR sound design Cook recently acknowledged the calls for Apple to build an AR headset or smart glasses, saying he "doesn't give a rats" about being the first to the idea.

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.

Cook believes augmented reality is a more important technology than virtual reality.

That Apple is working on an Augmented Reality headset is by now an open secret, after the device was all but confirmed Bloomberg's Mark Gurman. The headset will "have its own display and run on a new chip and operating system" called "rOS", or "reality operating system", the report notes.

Rumors of an Apple AR device have been circulating for some time. The chip will be similar in concept to the "system-on-a-package" component that's found inside the Apple Watch. In addition, Apple is also prototyping applications, which include AR versions of existing Apple apps like Maps and Messages and new apps like a virtual meeting room and 360-degree video playback.

Apple hasn't finalised how users will control or interact with the headset just yet, but the company is said to be experimenting with Siri voice commands, head gestures and touch panels.

Apple will also likely play up the user experience-"bringing together technology in such a way that's interesting, useful and easy to use", Nguyen said.