Apple is actively working on developing a headset for both augmented reality and virtual reality applications, a new report by CNET reveals. According to a person familiar with Apple’s plans, the project, codenamed T288, is still in its early stages, but assuming it remains on track is slated for a 2020 release. The current design would involve an 8K display for each eye and would be untethered from a computer or smartphone, according to the source, although it would b paired with a dedicated box powered by a custom Apple processor, using a high-speed, short-range wireless connection.
There is little other information available on the project’s specifics, however it seemingly confirms rumours from last fall of an augmented reality headset that would be powered by its own on-board chipset and run its own “rOS” or “reality operating system” based on iOS, which surfaced around the time that Apple acquired AR headset maker Vrvana. Other rumours have suggested that the device could in fact be coming as early as 2019, however most sources suggest that even a 2020 launch is “very aggressive” and Apple executives such as Chief Design Officer Jony Ive have already noted that Apple is in many cases “waiting for the technology to catch up” with the ideas that the company has. Rumours suggest Apple has been looking into AR and VR technology for the past few years now, with early 2016 reports revealing that the company was building a team for a secret VR project, and even at that point had been prototypes of VR headsets for several months prior to that, and of course Apple debuted its ARKit framework last June, opening the floodgates to a wide range of augmented reality applications on the iOS side, and laying the foundation for wearable AR tech.