Apple’s next AR / VR headset might need an iPhone to work

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Apple’s long-awaited augmented reality and virtual reality (AR and VR) headset could be upon us. Of course, there is a catch. A new rumor suggests that users might need to connect to a mobile device, most likely an iPhone, in order to access the full range of features of the device.

According to a recent report from The Information, Apple has completed design work on the three chips that the tech titan’s AR / VR headset will need to function. Unfortunately, the chips won’t have the ability to power native AI and machine learning in the headset, instead relocating most of the device’s computing to a wirelessly connected mobile device. It will work the same as first generation Apple Watches that required connection to an iPhone to work.

Now that its chip design is complete, Apple’s mysterious AR / VR headset will soon enter a trial production phase over the next few months. With the need for a mobile device to fully function, the headset may feature a sleek, lighter design, much like Google’s failed Glass device of old.

Apple being Apple, the company will likely find a way to price its next product astronomically, damn lightweight materials. The assumed retail price is currently around $ 3,000 for the headset alone. Add in an iPhone and whatever other upgrades, bells, or whistles Apple makes available, and consumers could find themselves spending a small fortune to use a fully charged headset. At least the company still has back-to-school offers!

It’s also worth mentioning that Apple’s AR and VR offerings could materialize as two different devices, with more emphasis on AR in the indefinite future. CEO Tim Cook has often attributed AR to a more promising company, noting in a 2016 interview with Buzzfeed that “VR has some interesting applications, but I don’t think it’s a large-scale technology. like RA ”.

Cook also told Buzzfeed that he believes “there is no substitute for human contact … and so you want technology to encourage it.” These earlier comments from the Apple CEO align with more recent feelings that an Apple AR business could work to increase person-to-person interactions with the ability to create graphs, data, and other visual information at will. .

Still, VR is a significantly more established industry than the nascent AR field, so it’s likely we’ll see a VR offering from Apple before the company rolls out its big guns for AR. Only time will tell what an Apple AR / VR device will look like, but be sure to keep your iPhone handy, just in case.

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