Apple is reportedly working on a futuristic headset — and it could ship as early as 2020
Business Insider · 2017-11-10 23:35
Apple is working on an augmented reality (AR) headset, and it might have it ready as early as 2020, a according to new report from Bloomberg's Mark Gurman says.
Bloomberg reports that the headset will have its own display, and that it will be powered by a dedicated chip and operating system. That would enable it to essentially function as a standalone device that doesn't necessarily need to be paired with an iPhone. It's not clear whether the device's design is ultimately expected to resemble a headset similar to Microsoft's HoloLens or something closer to a pair of glasses.
CEO Tim Cook has repeatedly expressed his interest and excitement for virtual reality, saying that it's something that makes him want to "yell out and scream." During the company's most recent earnings call, he said that the company believes "AR is going to change the way we use technology forever."
CEO Tim Cook已经不断的表示过他对虚拟现实的兴趣和激动了，并称这让他想要“喊出来并尖叫。”在该公司最近的收益电话会上，他说到该公司相信“AR将会永远改变人们使用科技的方式。”
The project could see completion within two years, and a finished product ready to ship as early as 2020, Bloomberg says, although it warns that this timeline is aggressive and subject to change.
In the AR space, Google tried to push its innovative smart glasses (dubbed "Google Glass") back in 2013, but they ultimately failed to take off due to a series of privacy concerns and the lack of any killer apps.
Microsoft, which missed the mobile revolution boat almost entirely, is also heavily focused on what it calls "mixed reality" (which includes both virtual and augmented reality), and has its own HoloLens headset.
Microsoft's primarily pushing HoloLens as a tool in the workplace, however (it costs $3000, or £2719 in the UK), while Apple's consumer-focused mindset will likely mean that its device would be pushed to the mainstream market at a more affordable price.
Mike Rockwell, who previously led the engineering efforts at Dolby Labs, is at the helm of a team of several hundred engineers from across Apple all working on various hardware and software projects — including the AR headset — under the codename "T288," Bloomber reports.
据Bloomberg报道，Mike Rockwell，曾经负责带领杜比实验室（Dolby Labs）的工程工作，指挥着致力于各种硬件和软件项目的数百位Apple工程师组成的—包括AR头显—叫做“T288”的小组。
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. This was just a first step, however, which could ultimately help to bring the new headset to life with a new operating system.
The OS, tentatively dubbed "rOS" ("reality operating system") internally, would be yet another iteration of iOS, similar to tvOS and watchOS, Bloomberg reports. Geoff Stahl, a former software manager for games and graphics at Apple, is one of the rOS software group's directors, Bloomberg says.
The company is still at a prototyping stage, and is testing different features and use scenarios.
Apple has not yet finalised how users will interact with the headset, Bloomberg reports, though it seems to be exploring three main ways of interactions: Touch, voice (via Siri), and head gestures.
Bloomberg notes that Apple doesn't have a fully operational headset of its own either, so most of the testing is being done on the HTC Vive virtual reality headset as well as a device similar to an Oculus Gear VR that uses the screen, cameras, and chipsets of the iPhone.
Bloomberg提出，Apple目前也还没有它们自己的可完整运行的头显，所以大多数测试都是用HTC Vive虚拟现实头显和一个类似于Oculus Gear VR的设备完成，它使用的是iPhone的屏幕，摄像头和芯片组。（11月9日）