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Apple reportedly chose a standalone AR/VR headset over a more powerful Tether design

Apple reportedly chose a standalone AR/VR headset over a more powerful Tether design

Apple's rumored mixed reality headset sounds like the worst-kept secret in technology, and a new report about the device from The Information (its second this week) is full of details about the unannounced product's turbulent development.

One of the most notable parts of the story is about Apple's decision to go with a standalone headset. At one point, Apple had yet to decide whether to move forward with a more powerful VR headset that would be paired with a base station or standalone. While Apple's AR/VR leader Mike Rockwell apparently preferred the version with the base station—which included a processor that was eventually shipped as the M1 Ultra, according to The Information—Apple executives decided to consider the standalone product. Have decided to launch a new version of . chose to go along. Bloomberg reported similar details in 2020.

That choice has clearly had a long-term impact on headset development. "By the time the decision was made, many of the device's chips had already been in development for several years, making it impossible to go back to the drawing board to build a single chip to handle all of the headset's functions," the report said. gave information . Informed. "Other challenges, such as the inclusion of 14 cameras on the headset, have caused headaches for hardware and algorithm engineers."

The report also includes details about continued consultations on the project's design even after Jony Ive's official departure from Apple. I "prefer" a wearable battery, perhaps like the Magic Leap offering. But other prototypes have batteries in the headset's headband, and it's not clear which one will be used in the final design, the information says.

Apple reportedly showed off the headset to its board of directors last week, so it could be closer to a public disclosure. That said, it may not be announced until later this year, and it may not hit store shelves until 2023, so we can wait a while to try it for ourselves. For the front line, Apple is developing a pair of AR glasses that look a lot like Ray-Ban Wayfarer glasses, but The Information says they are "still several years away from release." (I'm curious how they will differ in style from actual Wayfarer-like specs from Meta and Ray-Ban.)

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