Apple has an AR headset in the pipeline

Chief executive Tim Cook

STEPHEN LAM REUTERS Chief executive Tim Cook"We're already seeing things that will transform the way you work play connect and learn

Led by Mike Rockwell, who previously was in charge of engineering at Dolby Labs, the group has already grown to several hundred engineers, sources say.

Although Apple CEO Tim Cook alluded to any headset being at least a few years away during a recent interview about augmented reality, the reports convey a completely different story.

"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".

If Apple is able to meet its goal, the company could announce the product in 2019 and ship it for release in 2020, Bloomberg reported. So, unlike Microsoft's HoloLens, which runs on a Windows Mixed Reality platform under the Windows 10, Apple AR headset should have an OS of its own, which should bring better optimization and make app development easier and faster.

"The technology itself doesn't exist to do that in a quality way". "The display technology required, as well as putting enough stuff around your face - there's huge challenges with that".

The operating system is codenamed T288 and is internally known as rOS, which stands for reality operating system, the report added.

Apple has not determined how users would control the AR headset, but is examining various options, including touch panels, voice-activation via Siri and head gestures, the report said.

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. For internal purposes, Apple is believed to be working on a device similar to the Gear VR that uses an iPhone. Apple also invested $200 million in Corning in May as part of a $1 billion commitment to strengthen USA manufacturing.

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