Apple is reportedly hard at work on its next disruptive product, and it won't be a self-driving car. According to Bloomberg, the Cupertino company is gearing up to release an augmented reality headset that may "succeed the iPhone," with a potential target release of 2020.
With the release of iOS 11, Apple has voiced its support of augmented reality, saying the technology offers unlimited possibilities. The company gave a lot of stage time at WWDC to demonstrating what its new platform, ARKit, is capable of—and it wants to go even deeper into the rabbit hole with its new glasses.
Bloomberg's report claims the glasses will feature its own display and run on a new chip and operating system, known as "rOS" (reality operating system), which is said to be based on iOS.
Apparently, Apple has started experimenting with the HTC Vive as it susses out how best to implement its ideas. And that appears to be the stage the company is at now. Bloomberg claims Apple hasn't yet figured out how users will control the headset, but is reportedly investigating touch panels, voice-activation via Siri and head gestures. Bloomberg writes:
Engineers are prototyping a range of applications, from mapping and texting to more advanced features including virtual meetings rooms and 360-degree video playback. The company has discussed pairing the headset with its own version of the App Store, where users would be able to download content, just as they do with the iPhone, Watch, Apple TV and Mac.
ARKit was allegedly Apple's first foray into the world of augmented reality, using the iPhone and iPad as guinea pigs to see what engineers and developers were capable of creating. Now, Apple is working to create glasses with similar capabilities that don't run out of battery in just a few hours.
Apple's roadmap is ambitious, but it reinforces the notion that the company is a serious fan of AR. In fact, during Apple's recent earnings report, Tim Cook was the technology's biggest cheerleader, saying, "AR is going to change the way we use technology forever."