Apple is searching for its next killer product, and hopes an augmented reality headset might fit the bill.
Apple's AR headset faces a host of challenges, including the development of a custom chip, operating system and display, and dealing with limited battery life.
Speculation around Apple's intentions only increased when CEO Tim Cook earlier this year, predicted that AR technology could have as much impact as the smartphone.
Bloomberg reports it's the same team that was first responsible for ARKit, Apple's set of tools that allows developers to create augmented reality applications for the iPhone and iPad, and new version of ARKit could debut in 2018. According to Bloomberg, it's based on iOS and will be used to power Apple's upcoming AR headset. READ NEXT:Google launches new spatial audio toolkit to help VR sound design Cook recently acknowledged the calls for Apple to build an AR headset or smart glasses, saying he "doesn't give a rats" about being the first to the idea. "We're already seeing things that will transform the way you work, play, connect and learn", Cook said in the most recent Apple earnings call, according to Bloomberg. Apple's iOS 11 includes augmented reality support and a number of developers have already started embracing the technology.
Microsoft, of course, is already well ensconced in the AR/VR world, having launched a v1 HoloLens previous year as a $3,000 Developers Edition, and has talked about a HoloLens version 2, with built-in AI processing, but that device apparently won't ship until 2019. If all goes well, we could see an AR headset as soon as 2020. Instead Apple is trying to create a device that has its own display, powered by its own on-board chip and run its own operating system. Apple is also reportedly testing different methods for controlling the headsets such as touchscreens and voice activation using Siri.
To be competitive in the space, Apple will likely focus on marketing, Nguyen said, and positioning their product in a way that users both understand it and want to use it.