Bloomberg: Apple Aiming To Release Augmented Reality Headset By 2020, Equipped With Custom 'rOS' Operating System

According to a new report from Bloomberg, Apple is reportedly ramping up development of an augmented reality headset that will have its own display and run on a new chip and operating system. The publication says the device could ship by 2020, the development timeline is said to be "very aggressive" and could still change.

Apple is engineering the headset's custom operating system, based on iOS, is reportedly dubbed "rOS" for "reality operating system." Geoff Stahl, is one of the directors who’s going to led the so-called "rOS" software group.

 Just as tvOS powers the Apple TV, macOS runs on Macs and watchOS runs on Apple Watches, "rOS" will power Apple’s AR headset. Geoff Stahl, formerly a software manager for games and graphics at Apple, is one of the directors of the "rOS" software group.

Apple hasn't finalized how users will control the headset and launch apps, the interaction paradigm for this headset is less also clear. The report says Apple is exploring voice control, touch panels and head gestures. It also isn’t clear what the final product would look like; Bloomberg describes an AR headset.

Engineers are prototyping a range of applications, from mapping and texting to more advanced features including virtual meeting 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.

However whilst Apple develops its own prototypes, engineers are apparently already using HTC Vive devices for internal prototyping and testing. Bloomberg says the company is also creating a device that resembles a Gear VR headset, would connect wirelessly to an iPhone and using the phone's screen for the display. It would only be rolled out internally for testing AR apps.

In the meantime, Apple CEO Tim Cook described the technology needed for a shipping product as not there yet as recently as last month. Still, Cook has hyped the potential for augmented reality as a tool to anyone who will listen even before the recent launch of Apple’s ARKit apps.

Via MacRumors And 9to5Mac, Image Credit 9to5Mac

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