Apple's big plans for Augmented Reality with custom OS and AR headset

Chief executive Tim Cook

STEPHEN LAM REUTERS Chief executive Tim Cook"We're already seeing things that will transform the way you work play connect and learn

Several hundred Apple engineers are reportedly working on AR hardware and software systems. But unlike these headsets, which remain tethered to a smartphone or a computer, Apple's rumored AR headset would run independently, thanks to a new chip and operating system, according to Bloomberg, which broke the news Wednesday. The company is designing the SoC itself and the new operating system is internally dubbed rOS for "reality operating system".

Apple is betting big on Augmented Reality (AR) and has already made giant strides with a chipset-level integration of the technology with A11 Bionic processor.

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According to another report, augmented reality market was valued at $2.39 billion in 2016 and is expected to reach $61.39 billion by 2023.

We've heard it before, but Apple is working on augmented reality products with a new report from Bloomberg saying the company would be reading to show off its AR tech in 2019, shipping AR glasses in 2020. So, unlike Microsoft's HoloLens, which runs on a Windows Mixed Reality platform under the Windows 10, Apple AR headset should have an OS of its own, which should bring better optimization and make app development easier and faster.

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Cook said in an interview last month that quality AR headsets or glasses are not there yet technologically. "The display technology required, as well as putting enough stuff around your face - there's huge challenges with that". Apple engineers are also said to be now prototyping a range of applications for use in AR, reportedly using HTC Vive headsets for testing them. Apple also invested $200 million in Corning in May as part of a $1 billion commitment to strengthen US manufacturing.

"Put simply, we believe AR is going to change the way we use technology forever", said Cook, during Apple's latest earnings call.

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