Because Apple doesn't yet have an augmented reality headset of its own, it's using other companies' devices to develop and test features for their new device.
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That new operating system, internally called "rOS" for "reality operating system", is based on iOS. However, Apple declined to issue a comment on its plans. Magic Leap, which has been quietly working on its own augmented reality hardware, is thought to be targeting consumers instead. As we've seen from other AR developers, minimizing technology to work in an AR headset is still a hard proposition.
Earlier this year, Bloomberg reported that Apple started developing a team for AR-related projects about two years back.
Apple has not yet completed a prototype device, so it is now using HTC Vive headsets for testing. The newly-released iPhone X also includes an infrared camera to support augmented reality, and the ability to record 4K video at 60fps and 1080p at 240fps. Previous rumors have revealed that Apple has hundreds of engineers working on AR applications and has developed multiple prototypes for AR glasses, and some bolder bloggers have even speculated that a partnership with Zeiss would lead to a viable product coming out this year. The OS that the Apple AR headset would use will be specially designed, and is being referred to as the "rOS" or "reality operating system". This in-house chip is similar to the concept of "system-on-a-package" that can be seen in the Apple Watch.
In a recent earnings call, he said: "We're already seeing things that will transform the way you work, play, connect and learn". Apple is said to be discussing the possibility of launching a new type of App Store for the headset where users can download compatible AR apps.
As for input, the company is allegedly experimenting with touch panels, voice activation serviced by Siri and head gestures.
I can't wait to see Apple's AR headset arrive. "We don't (care) about being first; we want to be best in creating people's experiences".
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