Apple’s rumored mixed-reality headset seems to be the worst-kept secret in tech and a new report about the device from The Information (its second this week) is full of details about its turbulent development.
One notable passage in the story is discussing Apple’s decision to go with a standalone headset. At one point, Apple had not yet decided whether to move forward with a more powerful VR headset that would be paired with a base station or a standalone one. While Apple’s AR / VR leader Mike Rockwell apparently preferred the version with the base station – which included processor that easily handled the work load, Rockwell stated in an email to his team that “VR headsets are content-hungry vehicles” and he was less interested in satisfying the needs of programmers than prioritizing user experience.
The decision to create so many chips for the device has had a negative impact on the development of the headset. “By the time the decision was made, the device’s multiple chips had already been in development for several years, making it impossible to go back to the drawing board to create, say, a single chip to handle all the headset’s tasks,” The Information reported. “Other challenges, such as incorporating 14 cameras and various other sensors into an incredibly
The report from The Information also includes that, even after leaving Apple, Jony Ive is still involved in the project. He prefers a wearable battery and mentioned something like what Magic Leap offers. But there are prototypes with the battery on the headset’s headband, so it’s not known which will be used for the final design.
Apple is reportedly close to revealing the headset. That said, it might not be released until later this year, and we might have to wait a while before being able to try it for ourselves. For further down the line, Apple is developing a pair of AR eyeglasses that look like Ray-Ban wayfarer glasses, but there’s no telling when they’ll be available yet.