Apple is reportedly going all in on augmented reality.
Citing unnamed sources “familiar with the situation,” Bloomberg reports that Cupertino is moving ahead with the development of an AR headset, which it aims to start selling by 2020—a loose deadline that could be pushed back. The headset will “have its own display and run on a new chip and operating system” called “rOS,” or “reality operating system,” the report notes.
Apple did not immediately respond to PCMag’s request for comment.
Apple has been slowly dipping its toes into AR waters as of late. This summer, it introduced ARKit, a software development kit that lets developers create AR apps for iPhones and iPads. Apple’s iOS 11 includes augmented reality support and a number of developers have already started embracing the technology.
Meanwhile, in an interview with ABC last fall, Apple CEO Tim Cook enthusiastically spoke about AR and virtual reality, saying “My own view is that augmented reality is the larger of the two, probably by far.”
AR “gives the capability for both of us to sit and be very present, talking to each other, but also have other things, visually, for both of us to see — maybe it’s something we’re talking about, maybe it’s someone else … that is not here … but could be made to appear to be present with us,” he continued.
Rumors of an Apple AR device have been circulating for some time. In June 2016, the company won a patent for a device with a wraparound, translucent display. Earlier that year, word spread that Apple has been secretly growing a large VR and AR research team, which had already constructed some prototype headsets.