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Apple hopes to develop a revolutionary augmented reality device by 2019 and bring it to market the following year, according to a new report.

Sources familiar with the plan told Bloomberg that the AR system, unlike current headsets, would not need an accompanying smartphone to function. Instead, it would utilize its own display and a new chip and operating system.

Apple, which long sought a breakthrough product to succeed the iPhone, ultimately wants a device that can access apps, download content and, crucially, stream 3D video without draining its battery.

Bloomberg noted that Apple 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.

Several hundred Apple engineers are reportedly working on AR hardware and software systems, including looking into the use of touchscreens, voice activation or hand signals to control the headset.

The 2020 timeline, however, is considered ambitious for such a complex system and could change, Bloomberg reported.

 

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