Apple’s next big thing? Augmented reality headset to launch early next year, report says

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FILE- In this Dec. 26, 2018, file photo an Apple logo is seen in raindrops on a window outside an Apple Store at the Country Club Plaza shopping district in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel, File)


Apple may be getting close to launching its long-awaited augmented reality headset, according to an influential analyst.

The report, from TF International Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo and first obtained by Apple-focused website, MacRumors, says that the headset is likely to launch in the second quarter of 2020. He had previously expected the headset to launch in the latter part of next year.

Kuo did not mention the price of the headset, though the analyst did add that Apple would work with third-party brands for the wearable technology.

FILE- In this Dec. 26, 2018, file photo an Apple logo is seen in raindrops on a window outside an Apple Store at the Country Club Plaza shopping district in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel, File)

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The headset, which may be sold as an accessory to the iPhone, according to Kuo, has been rumored for several years.

In 2017, the iPhone maker filed a patent for a glasses-style device that harnesses augmented reality (AR), showing how the technology could work with a device and overlay information on real-world objects. In that case, the technology could be used in conjunction with a smartphone, but also with “semi-transparent spectacle or glasses” or both devices in tandem with each other.

Earlier this year, Apple also filed a patent for a mixed reality headset that could include sensors to track users’ facial features, eyes and hands. The patent, filed in March 2019 and known as Display System Having Sensors, indicates that Apple is researching how mixed (or augmented) reality might translate from cellphones to glasses.

Apple CEO Tim Cook made comments in 2016 that for a significant portion of the population in developed countries and eventually all countries, augmented reality experiences will be like “eating three meals a day.”

Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Fox News.

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