Apple augmented reality headset is finally getting serious


And this new headset will further Apple's vision of an augmented reality world.

Apple is reportedly working on a standalone augmented reality headset, which would be ready by 2019 and ship by 2020, according to Bloomberg.

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. As of the time of this writing, Apple did not respond to a request for comment. And now it looks like the company might be looking to officially release its headset in 2020. He didn't outright deny the rumours though, instead explaining there are technological issues preventing AR going mainstream this decade.

However, Cook also recently told The Independent that the technology needed to build such a product the right way simply "doesn't exist", and that Apple is more concerned with being the best on the market than the first.

Bloomberg said an Apple team is building the headset and a special chip for it.

Apple engineers are said to be now prototyping a range of applications for use in AR, reportedly using HTC Vive headsets for testing them.

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

Apple has been working on augmented reality for a few years. It will also have its own chipset, and an operating system now known as rOS, according to Bloomberg anonymous sources familiar with the device. Apple plans to give its device all the hardware it needs to operate without a phone.

In a recent earnings call, he said: "We're already seeing things that will transform the way you work, play, connect and learn".

Apple's hope is to squeeze its graphics processors, AI chip and CPU into a smaller, one-size-fits-all package, akin to what it has done for the Apple Watch, the Bloomberg article stated. They are also developing a range of apps, from messaging to mapping to 360-degree video playback. Aetna workers are co-located at Apple's offices in Cupertino, he said, as the company looks to have a variety of apps ready in time for the January 1 start of the Apple Watch pilot program.

As for input, the company is allegedly experimenting with touch panels, voice activation serviced by Siri and head gestures. Multiple challenges remain unsolved, including designing a wireless device that can display AR visuals for long enough without depleting the battery.

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