Also on today's podcast, we talk about Snap's lousy quarterly results and Twitter doubling its character limit to 280. Now, the company is looking to the future, with plans to ready an augmented reality headset by 2019.
Unlike the current generation of virtual reality headsets that use a smartphone as the engine and screen, Apple's device will have its own display and run on a new chip and operating system, according to people familiar with the situation. Apple hasn't finalised how users will control the headset and launch apps, but it is now testing with HTC Vive headsets because Apple does not have a fully operational headset of its own. "My own view is that augmented reality is the larger of the two, probably by far, because this gives the capability for both of us to sit and be very present talking to each other, but also have other things visually for both of us to see".
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As with previous products, Apple isn't waiting around for someone else to create a chip capable of powering its AR headset. It wouldn't say which company it would make AR components for, but given its key relationship with Apple it's hard not to assume it's anyone but the Cupertino company.
AR could help Apple re-energize its fan base and re-establish its mobile leadership, according to TechRepublic's Conner Forrest. "I can tell you that the technology itself doesn't exist to do [AR glasses] in a quality way", Cook said to Vogue in October after dismissing "rumours and gossip" about the idea. The team is supposedly led by Mike Rockwell, who used to be charge of engineering at Dolby Labs.
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.
Apple began developing its own augmented reality platform a couple of years ago and that ended up being ARKit, which now live natively inside devices running iOS 11. "This means that they will not only introduce an head-mounted display, but show us a number of different applications that have developed that Apple feels best demonstrates the strengths of their tech offering" Nguyen said.