According to a report by CNET, citing an anonymous “person familiar with Apple’s plans,” the company is working on an AR/VR headset targeting 8K resolution per-eye, scheduled for launch in 2020.

As Apple continues to hirefile patents, and buy up companies relating to AR and VR, rumours swirl about what the company might be working on. With similarities to a Bloomberg report late last year, a report today from CNET says that Apple is working on a headset with both AR and VR capabilities that the company hopes to launch in 2020.

The device, purportedly codenamed T288, is said to be targeting 8K resolution per-eye, and be powered by a dedicated host device with a custom Apple chip, and would transmit information wirelessly to the headset over a 60GHz connection. The report also indicates inside-out tracking for the headset rather than external trackers.

Apple's Latest VR Patent Describes a Compact VR Headset with Eye Tracking

As for the reliability of this information, it’s hard to gauge. I’m surprised to hear a codename mentioned, as secretive Apple projects have been known to use multiple codenames across compartmentalized groups as a means of rooting out leakers. It’s also surprising how closely this latest report mirrors the prior Bloomberg report, including the codename and purported 2020 launch window—the anonymous source could be the same individual. If this information is indeed authentic, I suspect it’s coming from someone outside of Apple, possibly a supplier or contractor, who may be extrapolating some information.

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For Apple’s part, the company has been silent on plans for its own AR/VR hardware, but publicly embraced VR last year when it made a number of announcements about how the Apple ecosystem would support VR, like support for SteamVR and the HTC Vive.

Apple CEO on AR Headsets: 'We don't want to be first, we want to be the best'

On the AR front, Apple has made a strong push for the technology through its existing devices, rolling out its ‘ARKit’ tracking technology to support phone-based AR experiences on hundreds of millions of iOS devices.

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Ben is the world's most senior professional analyst solely dedicated to the XR industry, having founded Road to VR in 2011—a year before the Oculus Kickstarter sparked a resurgence that led to the modern XR landscape. He has authored more than 3,000 articles chronicling the evolution of the XR industry over more than a decade. With that unique perspective, Ben has been consistently recognized as one of the most influential voices in XR, giving keynotes and joining panel and podcast discussions at key industry events. He is a self-described "journalist and analyst, not evangelist."
  • VRfrenz

    As much as I would love this (if it actually had full Windows 10 support/steam support) but what do they believe will support this resolution? Nvidia is on a kick for 3yr generations because of the amount of GPUs being sold globally to miners. They dontd want to be stuck with over stock and are making millions so they are waiting longer for new card generations. By the look of it the 1180 Time Will be the best consumer affordable card 2 yrs from now. The current 1080 time struggles with 90/90 fps now. That’s 2k per eye. 4k/4k will be the sweet spot for the 1180 ti. AMD is still behind with advance FPS in VR. That leaves no one else. Hum… Stockholder advertising to bump up their inflated stocks is what it sounds like.

    • ummm…

      yes you make some good points, but who can bank on any of them. the only thing we know for sure is that it will be overpriced, and done for cheaper by existing players.

      • Bryan Ischo

        We don’t know that for sure, troll.

        Seriously, how about contributing something more useful to the discussion than Apple-bashing?

        • ummm…

          Ahahahaha, a sly comment and your head explodes. Where exactly did I cross this invisible line from puckish to trolling. Is there a statute in the law?

          It’s also not lost on me that you agreed with part of my “critique” at least in relation to price.

          • Meow Smith

            Sounds like you’d enjoy this Apple repair techs youtube channel.


          • ummm…

            im curious about it as well. i bought all apple for a decade. Its just not for me. Interesting video.

        • Michael Slesinski

          naaaah, we know it for sure. the LAST word anyone has ever associated apple with is “affordable”.

      • Get Schwifty!

        And yet, people will want to buy it, so your objection simply doesn’t matter. FWIW, I hate working on Macs, so I am by no means an apologist, but a realist as to their impact in the market.

    • Bryan Ischo

      Perhaps 8K per eye is future proofing … maybe allowing a render target that is much smaller with in-device scaling, so that before we have graphics cards that can do the 8K, we get the benefit of reduced screen door, and the headset is ready for the time when more powerful graphics cards become available.

      Also, because Apple has a much tighter control over their software ecosystem, it’s quite possible that they’ll have an easier time making one-card-per-eye work. That buys some headroom; of course it doubles the cost of the graphics hardware, but it does provide a mechanism for 2x the performance when the customer really wants it.

      • VRfrenzy

        There have been challenges to the dual GPU workload for other things. It’s a difficult problem to solve due to the sync issues. It’s be interesting if they worked it like RAIDs do with striping. All workloads spread back and forth. I believe Pimax was working on this solution with their HMDs to render the full resolution while only using half the required amount of GPU power since at any given moment only 1x eye was being fully rendered (quick enough that both appeared equally running). But, seeing the amount of “dual GPUs” has gone down the hill since most people only code for single GPUs in games it would have to be a purely stand-alone hardware driven solution, non-dependent upon programmers.

    • NooYawker

      There’s no way they’d make a VR system that only runs on a Mac that would be insane. And I think AR systems will all be self contained, that’s the point of AR glasses, and why it’s so difficult to produce.

      • Michael Slesinski

        just please keep in mind ar is NOT just headsets.

      • Andrew Jakobs

        It’s Apple, so it’s not that insane.. Most of Apple devices only work with Apple services/hardware.

    • kool

      Im thinking 5g streaming is where the graphics will come from in future standalone headsets. Its tje only way to fit it all in.

  • ummm…

    Report: Apple plans on a sudden jump into the deep end of consumer VR in a few years time, with a premium product, to compete against established and proven solutions – and all for only 4 X the cost.

    • NooYawker

      Except no one has actually released a consumer AR product.and everyone outside of oculus and htc is jumping in VR after the fact.

      • Steve

        Uh, you could just as well say Oculus & HTC jumped in after the fact with their rehashed tech that makes everyone sick that has astigmatism or slightly asymetrical eyesight!

      • Michael Slesinski

        hooold on. samsung released ar with galaxy phones if i recall correctly.

        granted its not a hmd, but its still ar for consumers.

    • Get Schwifty!

      And if it’s a worthwhile product that people like enough to pay the cost then what’s the problem? This same argument applies btw to the release of the “Pro” Vive headset – its a premium price by HTC for what is, and yet people want it.

      To date Apple has not dominated a single space it’s in except for wearables and desktop publishing (which has waned), and even the costs are relatively low for that solution. Be glad that AR/VR is considered serious enough that Apple is getting involved.

    • Dave Graham

      And every cable and peripheral has to be Apple with proprietary connectors.

      • ummm…

        thats only because only apple knows how to do it right with their delicate piece of future tech.

      • Peter K

        I guess USB type c Thunderbolt is somehow a proprietary connector.

  • Burgundy

    2020 seems to line up with Apple pulling out Intel from their machines and them developing their own GPUs. Wouldn’t be surprised if this comes out on a 2020 device sporting one of their own chips.

    • Dave

      Back to British! ARM Holdings produced the RISC based processor which I believe are now out performing similar Intel processors in the mobile market. The iPhone 8 has you stated also has a custom Apple GPU using 10mn technology. So yes this makes perfect sense what with Intels struggles at the moment. Pretty sure though the rest of the VR space will keep up but 2020 does seem to be where it’s at (I mean Oculus and HTC are probably targetting that data too) but I was thinking 4K per eye not 8K – wow.

      • Get Schwifty!

        All RISC does is more smaller steps instead of CISC computing with fewer (but sometimes) less efficient steps. Optimization of CISC normally yields close performance to RISC and still has advantages in general which is one big reason CISC has hung in for so long. ARM’s big advantage is in moderate power efficiency unless I am mistaken, which is good for mobile. For general computing applications CiSC seems to hold the advantage.

    • Get Schwifty!


  • Till Eulenspiegel

    2020 is the year Japan broadcast the Olympics in 8K.

    4K will last until next year before 8K becomes the new standard. 8K per eye will finally make VR looks HD, but the content size and bandwidth will be ginormous.

    • MentalParadox

      What are you smoking… 4K isn’t even mainstream yet. Most people still have HDTVs.

      • Till Eulenspiegel

        In Japan they knew that 4K is temporary, they skipped 4K and went for 8K.

        The 8K TVs are coming soon in 2 years. The smart ones will skip 4K and wait for 8K TVs.

        • Bryan Ischo

          I guess the even smarter ones will skip 8K and go for 16K? And what will the smartest ones do? Skip everything and buy the highest resolution TV they can get on their deathbed?

          • Till Eulenspiegel

            People in the industry already knew that 4K is a short term resolution. 8K will stay for a longer period so it is worth investing in.

          • Flamerate1

            Wait. What made 4K arbitrarily a shorter term resolution? Literally every technical aspect of it can be applied as an argument to literally every new resolution that gets created in the future. Am I missing something?

        • Andrew Jakobs

          great, but there still isn’t any 8K UHD content, and decent 4K UHD already is only available as UHD bluray’s but those are very expensive. Netflix 4K UHD quality is hardly any better than a decent mastered FullHD bluray.

          • Till Eulenspiegel

            That is why the Olympics in Japan will be the first 8K broadcast and you can be sure Sony will come up with their 8K disc solutions. Streamed 4K uses lower bitrate compared to 4K Blu-ray, we need better codec to improve compression for the next gen.

    • Andrew Jakobs

      Sorry, but 4K uhd per eye already will make vr look like HD, it’ll be hard to really power those with mainstream GPU’s (so max $200 GPU’s). People are bitching of mobile graphical powers, but even with current highend GPU’s it’ll be mobile graphical power level visuals you get if you want 4K UHD per eye.. Only foveated rendering will help, but even that isn’t the holy grail.

      • Till Eulenspiegel

        Never said never, back then people were running windows 95 in 640 x 480 resolution and it was fine to them. 1080p would be an impossible dream and 4K would be nuts – “Why would people need that type of resolution? What computer can drive those screen?” If you can travel back in time and show them current technology that’s what they would say. Only just 2 years ago people with HDTV would said the the same thing about 4K.

        2 years from now things can change very quickly. God knows what processors Apple is working on… By the time Intel released their 10nm processors, Apple and AMD would have reached 5nm.

        • Get Schwifty!

          That’s the other thing, Apple is continuing to work to make itself less dependent upon single suppliers, and wants to manage as much of the process as it can reasonably. Frankly, we need a real competitor to Nvidia (AMD, please… your embarrassing yourself, sit down). I’m glad to hear they are moving into it with at least what might be a real effort.

  • brubble

    I can barely fathom the mountains worth of proprietary apple BS that we’ll have to endure to actually use their device and furthermore at what exorbitant cost?

    • Get Schwifty!

      And it will likely be loads easier to use, work as well if not better in many cases, and people will want it and even buy used ones at a premium. Your notion of “endure” needs examination compared to what people who use their products feel about it.

      • Michael Slesinski

        you dont seem to get that anybody who uses windows is smart enough to use a mac, but people who have only used mac struggle like retards to grasp windows. the fact that itll cost 3x more than its worth automatically makes it harder to use before it even hits the shelf.

        • Get Schwifty!

          Lol – this is so biased and incorrect on top. As a Windows user who also owns a Mac I can tell you folks who use one predominantly struggle to use one or the other fairly equally. Your arguement is Windows is cheaper (and harder) for the price and this justifies bypassing Apple. The reality is OS/X is actually more powerful than Windows, and less time is wasted fighting the tech on top in most cases at the same time. And it won’t be 3x cost, this too doesn’t reflect reality, maybe 1.5x but if users prefer it and adopt VR why shouldn’t Apple get in the game?

          • Michael Slesinski

            then you are just lying. everyone knows mac is made to be retard friendly, windows is only made to be “user” friendly. it has nothing to do with the cost of windows AT ALL. it has to do with the OVERINFLATED price of the hardware. os/x is absolutely NOT more powerful than windows in any way shape or form, what are you benchmarking on some mac friendly bullshit? the simple fact that something like 70% of pc games dont even run on mac natively is a pretty sound reason NOT to get into the game.. i mean you dont even make up 5% of the market. you arent WORTH supporting to the vast majority of game developers, especially indie developers that are putting so much effort into vr.

            you need to take that mac-dick out of your mouth, the lack of oxygen is obviously causing brain damage.

  • MarquisDeSang

    3 years too late

  • Paul Roberts

    Apple are an embarrassment to the tech industry. They got lucky (ok, maybe made their own luck) with the ipod and from this they had a big springboard to hit it big with the iphone and that’s about it – they’ve been covering their limitless mistakes ever since with the billions they’ve been earning from that cash cow. I personally think they could have been 2 or 3 times as big as they are now if they had focused on getting their computers out to everyone and not trying start ups in TV’s, cars, watches, speakers, maps, AI, AR and now VR all of which they are simply not good enough at to really make significant inroads. Latest mistake by them is giving un on wireless technology – if they hadn’t realised wireless is big and is only going to get bigger and they were perfectly positioned to come up with and market the best system ‘that just works’ but no, they have decided that it’s too much of a distraction!! A monkey could run the company better.

    • NooYawker

      Not liking Apple is one thing but to say they got lucky or a monkey could run it better? Really? A monkey could turn a company into one of the most valuable company on in the world?

      • Paul Roberts

        Thanks for you reply and to the others but I stand by what I say. Yes they are a very successful company but I think they could have been a lot more successful had they had better direction – like monstrously successful. Just my armchair opinion but we will never know what could have been!

        • NooYawker

          Want to see how Apple would do under a different CEO. Look back at John Sculleys time as CEO.

    • twattermaster

      You basically said that they are not as big as they would have been if they did not try on so many different fronts but at the same time you forgot that they got into that position EXACTLY because they branched into completely new category of devices. I mean IPods and Smartphones. Dude, think.

      Also, they are looking for a new markets for themselves. What is a point for them to fight with oversaturated markets like smartphones where they already well established themselves. Every big profitable corpo does that. Every once in a while they will hit another gold mine like iPhone or IPAD, you’ll see.

    • Get Schwifty!

      Then why does it bother you they are making move in AR/VR? Saying they could be “bigger than they are” when they are the single most profitable company out there means they must be doing something right. I’m not an apple fanatic, but your criticisms are truly from left field.

      Your iPod example is simply flawed; they moved into the essentially stagnant and underdeveloped mp3 player market and transformed it, I recall when virtually everyone wanted an iPod…

      I get hate for anything “proprietary” but the truth is there are benefits one of which is cleaner, more focused product development rather than the janky shit often produced by “open source”. You need both truly, but to decry Apple which has had many successes over the years as just “getting lucky” is denying reality. The move to AR/VR fits them perfectly; they see a market that can’t seem to get out of it’s own way, then creates a desirable product for consumers and markets it and guess what? They make boatloads of cash and happy consumers…. one could easily accuse Samsung of effectively doing the same thing with Android phones, aping the phone market Apple effectively created for consumers.

      Please, don’t let your hate of Apple blind you to the realities of the company’s past and future. They won’t destroy or hinder AR/VR, they will just be one of several primary options.

  • NooYawker

    8k not 16k. 2 8k screens is not 16k.

  • I’m skeptical about that as well

  • Michael Slesinski

    did nobody send the memo that $30,000 headsets are a thing of the past? whats more do we REALLY need a headset that only runs 20% of the software out there?

    • Get Schwifty!

      Yes, because it may take Apple to get through the BS of Facebook, Valve and HTC to deliver a truly impacting market product, and likewise get them to focus more.

      • Michael Slesinski


        • Get Schwifty!

          You understand the “leaders” in VR really aren’t doing all that well in terms of moving AR/VR into the mainstream? Not saying Rift/Vive don’t have decent products for the enthusiast/prosumer market, but they are currently very limited access to the general consumer market, and HTC particularly struggles in this regard.

          • Veron

            there are real, physical reasons why VR isn’t mainstream.
            There’s the matter of cost, and also the hassle of wearing a headset that shuts you off.

            a device with 8k displays per eye, cameras for AR tracking and a powerful chipset to drive those screens will NOT be cheap. Minimum cost of $1500 if you consider the iPhone X already rings in at $1k.
            Also, Apple isn’t going to get away from the need of a relatively bulky HMD.

            Sneer at Oculus, Valve and HTC all you want, but they’re at the current cutting edge of consumer VR . it seems you believe in magic, though.

  • jorjun

    Apple ethos is best UX. VR is a profound leap for UX. Of course Apple will be creating a new Mac, and as usual, a brand new market segment for others to emulate. Poorly.

  • F1ForHelp

    Ooh man. I can’t wait for 2020, when everyone’s going to be disappointed that bitcoin isn’t 30,000 and when every other technological prediction is either wrong, unrelavent, or too expensive to be applicable. /s

  • fuyou2

    Apple Are Cunts Now And They Will Be Cunts In 2020..

  • sebrk

    Lamest comments ever in this thread. Remember you don’t have to buy anything. Competition is still good. And nobody can deny Apple in creating well-built products.

  • I lost faith in Apple designs when they “revolutionized” the Mac Pro to the cylindrical model. And yes, I own one.

    Following the trends that Apple have shown, this 8K p.e. headset will likely have its own OS like iOS, macOS, watchOS. It will have its own AR/VR App Store too. They will build a custom non-upgradeable Mac Mini sized device to power it. It will be an amazing product in its own right but it will be locked into their eco system.

    That is the Apple way these days.

    • oompah

      mabbe a cylindrical VR headset in offing hah ha

  • oompah

    instead if they implement foveated rendering
    that would drastically reduce the overhead

  • Da Mo (JFlash)

    Face it Apple will bring it to the mainstream just because they will spend $50 on the headset and $30,000,000 advertising it and the average Joe will buy it cause they don’t know their arse from there elbow and they saw it advertised on TV in the Superbowl break.

  • Metal Knight(urNemesis)

    Apple plays for keeps, whatever they drop it’s gonna sale out the ass…. the tech is going to be great