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The first AR/VR headset that Apple has in development will need to be wirelessly tethered to an iPhone or another Apple device to unlock full functionality, reports The Information.

apple-mixed-reality-headset-mockup-feature-orange.jpg

It will be similar to the WiFi-only version of the Apple Watch, which requires an iPhone connection to work. The headset is meant to wirelessly communicate with another Apple device, which will handle most of the powerful computing.

According to The Information, Apple recently completed work on the 5-nanometer custom chips that are set to be used in the headset, and that's where the connectivity detail comes from.

Apple has completed the key system on a chip (SoC) that will power the headset, along with two additional chips. All three chips have hit the tape-out stage, so work on the physical design has wrapped up and it's now time for trial production.

The chips are not as powerful as the chips used in Apple's Macs and iOS devices, without a neural engine for AI and machine learning capabilities. The chip is designed to optimize for wireless data transmission, compressing and decompressing video, and power efficiency for maximum battery life.

Though designed to work with an iOS device, the headset has a CPU and GPU, so there's a chance that it could have a standalone mode with limited functionality.

TSMC is manufacturing the chips that will be used in the headset, and mass production is said to be at least a year away. The first AR/VR headset could be released as soon as 2022, but the launch could also be pushed back if work on the device is not completed in time.

The Information has also heard that work has been completed on the image sensor and display driver for the headset, and TSMC is still working out issues with the image sensor given its large size. TSMC is working to increase the yield that it is getting during trial production.

This AR/VR headset that's in development is separate from a set of augmented reality smart glasses that are in the works. The sleeker, smaller smart glasses will follow the headset and are expected to launch in 2023.

Article Link: Apple's Upcoming AR/VR Headset to Require Connection to iPhone
 

Metrosey

macrumors 6502a
Oct 18, 2019
725
897
Innovation is great, but I’ve never found VR gaming interesting or good at all. AR? That concept seems better, but again, for gaming they’ll be a lack of content. AR/VR for business purposes, now that sounds a much better idea.
 

fwmireault

Contributor
Jul 4, 2019
1,406
6,064
Montreal, Canada
A device like Apple TV seems more appropriate to tether the VR headset, but it’s probably not powerful enough for now. Maybe an Apple TV Pro/Gaming console would eventually be the perfect complement with this headset
 
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SirChristopher

macrumors member
Feb 15, 2019
78
151
If they don't call this EyePods it's a hard miss (half joking). Or maybe they'll repurpose the iSight branding (less of a joke)?

Either way, wait till version 3 or 4 to get standalone connectivity so everyone who bought the first three have to re-purchase. Man, it's nice owning this stock.
 

rorschach

macrumors 68020
Jul 27, 2003
2,180
986
Just like the Watch. Gen 1 had apps all hosted on the phone and just acted like a display of sorts. Very slow. Then we got native apps later.

I assume future versions will become more and more independent, but probably will still require an iPhone for the foreseeable future.
 

bigchungus

macrumors newbie
Nov 8, 2020
5
15
It’ll be interesting to see what‘s the killer apps on this headset. Gaming surely wouldn’t be a focus based on apple‘s support in the past, so maybe primarily VR videos/experiences?
 

rumplestiltskin

macrumors 6502
Apr 12, 2006
280
91
Don't own an iPhone (I use Android), so that gift of of an Apple Watch I recv'd was worthless and re-gifted. Great idea, Tim! Make products that people can't use unless they're fully invested in Apple's ecosystem. Once I abandoned my iPhone for Android, moving completely away from Apple products became so simple.
 

dojoman

macrumors 68000
Apr 8, 2010
1,912
1,058
Don't own an iPhone (I use Android), so that gift of of an Apple Watch I recv'd was worthless and re-gifted. Great idea, Tim! Make products that people can't use unless they're fully invested in Apple's ecosystem. Once I abandoned my iPhone for Android, moving completely away from Apple products became so simple.
It's not a conspiracy. If Apple wants to sell more watch wouldn't it makes sense to make it compatible with more OS instead of limiting to just iOS? There's a reason it only works for Apple eco system.
 

prizm

macrumors regular
Oct 29, 2007
141
133
Don't own an iPhone (I use Android), so that gift of of an Apple Watch I recv'd was worthless and re-gifted. Great idea, Tim! Make products that people can't use unless they're fully invested in Apple's ecosystem. Once I abandoned my iPhone for Android, moving completely away from Apple products became so simple.
So...if you said goodbye to Apple, why are you here?
 

KaliYoni

macrumors 6502a
Feb 19, 2016
972
2,092
Hilarious. Mark Facebook spent a billion dollars buying Oculus Rift. Tim Apple probably will end up spending a similar amount on :apple: VR or iRealityDistortionField Goggles or whatever it ends up being named. That'll make $2 billion thrown at devices that make a lot of people nauseous. I think I'm going to look for a barf bag maker to buy stock in and skip the goggles/glass/helmet.
 

DelayedGratificationGene

macrumors 6502
Jan 11, 2020
490
1,171
Ofcourse! it requires the iPhone connection. It's all about the Apple's Eco System.

I'm ready to experience AR/VR. This is Tim Cook's baby.
It is Tim’s baby that’s for sure. He has been talking about how critical AR is to Apple for quite a few years now. He needs this to be as good as iphone so we wait…but this could be a game changing product even bigger than iPhone.
 

jicon

macrumors 6502a
Nov 29, 2004
676
488
Toronto, ON
I believe there's been the odd business case for use of Google Glass, a different product in a way I'd guess, but I really, really struggle to see appeal of VR or 3D glasses used for TV a few years back.

AR on a phone or tablet, yeah, I kind of get it. I use the Ikea app every once in a while to kind of gauge where some furniture might fit in a room, or use the phone for measurements, but outside that, I'm not sold on awkward headwear.

Show me the convenience.
 
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