Apple's augmented reality headset will also include virtual reality capabilities. It is codenamed T288 and is expected to be launched in 2020. While Augmented Reality or AR maps digital objects to the real world, Virtual Reality (VR) allows users to fully immerse themselves in a digitally generated environment.
The new details came in a Friday report from CNET, which also included some very ambitious technical details of the project. The new information, if appropriate, would be a major leak for the secretive company, with CNET citing unnamed sources and Apple not yet ready to comment on the news. But aside from adding VR, it seems to confirm similar reports dating back to at least November last year.
Some hardware-development commentators have said they are creating a device with the specifications described in the report to push the boundaries of its technical capabilities. These specifications include 8K resolution dual-screen wirelessly connected to a box with processors far ahead of today's market.
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Those details and the release timeline itself may change, even if they conform to Apple's current plans. But it almost certainly seems that eventually there will be an Apple AR headset, as Apple made its entry into AR as clear as the restrained company does. For example, in a November earnings poll, CEO Tim Cook mentioned AR as a technology that "will change the way you work, play, connect, and learn."
This seems to be a partial indication of the potential of AR to increase productivity by transforming a wearer's entire field of view into a virtual workspace. Such dedicated, creative applications can help make AR more successful than VR, which has not become a huge consumer category despite the enthusiasm of dedicated players. AR, even in primitive forms such as the mobile game Pokemon Go has gained a much wider reach, indicating even greater potential than hardware advancement. And since AR and VR have significant technical overlaps, the combination could result in a more attractive product with little added overhead.