Apple AR headset. Sounds like smart glasses to me.

From Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman: Apple Is Ramping Up Work on AR Headset to Succeed iPhone

Apple began putting together a team to work on AR-related projects a couple of years ago, Bloomberg reported in March. Led by Mike Rockwell, who previously ran engineering at Dolby Labs, the group has now grown to several hundred engineers from across Apple, the people said. Scattered across office parks in both Cupertino and Sunnyvale, California, the team is working on several hardware and software projects under the umbrella code name of “T288.”

The team’s first product was ARKit, tools that outside software developers use to create AR applications for the latest iPhones and iPads, leveraging their screens, cameras and processors to create virtual 3-D interfaces for online shopping, education and gaming. This was an interim step, giving Apple an opportunity to test the technology on an existing product.

The next step — creating a headset with a built-in display capable of streaming 3D video without draining the battery — is much more complicated. Cook acknowledged as much in a recent interview with The Independent, when he said: “Anything you would see on the market any time soon would not be something any of us would be satisfied with.” Referring to challenges creating displays, Chief Design Officer Jony Ive told a tech panel last month that “there are certain ideas that we have and we are waiting for the technology to catch up with the idea.”

My take: Lots of interesting new stuff here, including reports that Apple is building its own AR chip and has dubbed its new operating system rOS, for “reality operating system.” Describing the target device as an AR headset, however, seems unnecessarily obtuse. Today’s eyeglasses, for those who need them, are incredibly useful reality enhancing devices. Neil Cybart has just about persuaded me: Smarter glasses—powerful, stylish and rOS-ready as only Apple can make them—may be inevitable.

5 Comments

  1. Fred Stein said:
    Great post. Sounds real to me, regardless of timing.

    Regarding the AR Chip, the Apple 3.0 Oct 23 post, https://www.ped30.com/2017/10/23/16706/, talks about Apple’s and TSMC’s $9B commitment to pushing chips tech to max. This gives Apple yet another moat, another margin and cash flow defense. These investment strategies are deep, hidden until very late, and generally ignored even when made public.

    1
    November 8, 2017
  2. John Kirk said:
    I am very, very excited about the concepts discussed in the above article. It seems to me that Apple is not only not behind, as the pundits often contend, they may be preparing to make another leap, similar to the iPod, iPhone or iPad.

    I’ll admit that as a lifelong wearer of glasses, I’m reluctant to believe that almost everyone will want to be wearing glasses almost all of the time. But Apple is pretty good with user interfaces. If they think it’s doable, they’re probably right.

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    November 8, 2017
  3. Grady Campbell said:
    not just glasses, goggles!

    0
    November 8, 2017
    • David Drinkwater said:
      No, not goggles – God forbid!

      The goal should be something comfortable and sensually free, with the ability to offer assistance. (For example, “Siri, show me the current traffic map ahead,” and “Boom!” you can see that there are no wrecks ahead, just that things are sloggy – or, that there is a wreck and you need to exit within the next two exits to save yourself 10, 15, 20, or 30 minutes getting to work.)

      To me, the concept of goggles is not reality assistance, but disconnection, and generally myopic or claustrophobic. I do not think this is the direction Apple is going.

      1
      November 8, 2017
      • Grady Campbell said:
        what about skiers and swimmers and pilots and industry? and they would be cool for games too (better than huge headsets, if feasible)

        0
        November 9, 2017

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