Apple CEO Tim Cook had earlier indicated that augmented reality is a more important technology than virtual reality as it takes a user out of the real world and dumps them completely in a digital world. The cited source said that because Apple doesn't have a fully operational headset of its own, the company is using HTC Vive headsets for testing purposes.
In search of a new product to make a breakthrough and surpass the iPhone, the U.S. technology company Apple is pointing in an interesting direction. Cook acknowledged as much in a recent interview with The Independent, when he said: "Anything you would see on the market any time soon would not be something any of us would be satisfied with". Apple engineers are also said to be now prototyping a range of applications for use in AR, reportedly using HTC Vive headsets for testing them. "The display technology required, as well as putting enough stuff around your face - there's huge challenges with that".
As with previous products, Apple isn't waiting around for someone else to create a chip capable of powering its AR headset. This work could put the company in a position to become an essential partner when Apple begins the production of its reported AR headset. The small surface area also saves battery life, which will be crucial to run intensive graphics from the headset.
Apple hasn't finalized how users will control the headset and launch apps, but is investigating touch panels, voice-activation via Siri and head gestures. One working prototype to internally test AR apps looks like an Oculus Gear headset with iPhone's screen, cameras and chipsets, according to Bloomberg. Apple also invested $200 million in Corning in May as part of a $1 billion commitment to strengthen US manufacturing. Google is developing a business-oriented option called Glass.