The report details Apple’s MR headset design challenges and internal obstacles – the road to virtual reality

Apple is a notorious black box when it comes to in-house projects, although details based on supply chain rumors sometimes shed a little light on what might happen with the company’s AR/VR headset behind closed doors. Direct internal leaks come less common from Apple, but a report from the information Allegedly, 10 people on Apple’s Mixed Reality Headphones project team have detailed some of the previous design challenges and the potential direction the headset might take going forward.

Report (via 9to5Mac) details some anecdotes going back to 2016, when the company first showed off a number of AR and VR models to industry leaders and Apple’s elite.

Former Vice President Al Gore, then-Disney CEO Bob Iger, and other Apple board members go from room to room, experimenting with prototypes of augmented and virtual reality hardware and software. One gadget made a little digital rhino appear on a table in the room. The creature then grew into a life-size version of itself, according to two people familiar with the meeting. In the same demo, the bleak environment of the room is transformed into a lush jungle, illustrating how users can seamlessly transition from augmented reality, where they can still view the physical world around them, to a more holistic experience of virtual reality – a combination known as mixed reality.

The report maintains that it was more of a conceptual rendering at the time, with some prototypes running on Windows while others were based on the original HTC Vive. Like the Damocles sword built in the late 1960s by Evan Sutherland – the founding father of virtual reality – one of the prototypes was also supposed to be so heavy that it was suspended by a small crane so that Apple board members could wear it without straining their necks.

None of this practice is particularly uncommon when it comes to hardware development – just ask insiders of Magic Leap from the early days – yet the report notes that the company’s MR headset has not received the same support from Apple’s current CEO, Tim Cook. , acquired by Steve Jobs for the development of the iPhone. The report says that Cook “seldom visits the group at its offices away from Apple’s main campus”.

It is also alleged that there was some political infighting that hampered the development, which we heard in an earlier report from 2019 when it was alleged that Apple was Pumping breaks on the headset Due to a feud between then-Apple hardware designer Jony Ive and project leader Mike Rockwell. Since then Yves left the company in 2019 to pursue his own design firm, love from.

Soon, Rockwell, Mayer, and Rothkopf encountered opposition from Eve’s team. Three people who worked on the project said that the three men initially wanted to build virtual reality goggles, but that Eve’s group had concerns about the technology. They believed that VR users alienate users from others by isolating them from the outside world, making users look unfashionable and lacking in practical uses. Two people said that Apple’s industrial designers weren’t convinced consumers would be willing to wear headphones for extended periods of time.

While the teams have proposed adding pass-through cameras to the front of the headset, codenamed N301, Apple’s industrial designers have been more interested in the concept than what the sources say. the information It was an “external monitor on the headset. The monitor can display video images of the eyes and facial expressions of the person wearing the headset to other people in the room.”

However, the report does not go further than in 2019 the information Wayne Ma is due to publish an article soon covering the “pivotal moment of the Apple headset.”

Like we said, Apple is a black box, which means that it does not comment on ongoing projects or respond purposefully to media requests for clarity. However, looking at previous reports may provide a rough picture of what to expect. The information below is based on reports, so please treat it with caution.

What we (think we) know about the N301 mixed reality headset

Leave a Comment