Apple reportedly hopes to debut a standalone augmented reality headset in as little as three years’ time.
Bloomberg, citing sources familiar with the matter, reports that the AR system would utilize its own display and be powered by a new chip and operating system — and unlike current models, it would not need an accompanying smartphone to function.
The tech giant’s ultimate goal is a device that can stream 3D video without quickly draining the battery. The operating system would be based on the iOS platform that powers Apple’s mobile devices and would allow users to access apps and download content.
The company is investigating the use of touchscreens, voice activation and hand signals to control the headset.
Several hundred Apple engineers are reportedly working on AR hardware and software systems. The company wants the next-generation technology to be in place by 2019 and ready to ship the following year, but its ambitious timeline could still change.
Bloomberg noted that Apple officials long sought a breakthrough product to succeed the iPhone and that CEO Tim Cook views AR — which displays items in the wearer’s field of vision — as more promising than virtual reality.
“Put simply, we believe AR is going to change the way we use technology forever,” Cook said in the company’s third-quarter earnings call last week.