Apple’s mixed reality headset would be little focused on video games

Every day brings its share of sometimes contradictory rumors around Apple’s mixed reality headset. The Informationalready at work this week, adds a layer of it with a new article which gives some additional details on the development of the product.

Concept Antonio De Rosa

A design that would always involve Jony Ive. The former chief designer left Apple at the end of 2019, but he continues to collaborate with the manufacturer from time to time, on the 24-inch iMac for example, or on Apple Watch dials through his LoveFrom studio. . Members of the helmet team would regularly travel to San Francisco, where Ive has a home, to validate certain design choices.

The designer would also have proposed that the battery of the device be external, the helmet being connected to it in the manner of the Magic Leap:

However, nothing says that Apple has kept this idea for the final design of the product. Since the AR headset project dates back to 2015, Ive was bound to have been involved in its development. He would thus have rejected a proposal for an overpowered helmet where the computing power was precisely deported in an external box. In his mind, the headset should be something easy to wear (but in this context, why bother with an external battery?).

Jony Ive reportedly refused an overpowered virtual reality headset

Jony Ive reportedly refused an overpowered virtual reality headset

Unfortunately for Mike Rockwell, who oversees the project at Apple, this external box was essential for creating photorealistic graphics. Without the contribution of the module, the promise of a “premium” mixed reality experience would not be fulfilled. Ive’s decision, which dates back to 2019, fundamentally changed the nature of the product, which was intended to be aimed more at creatives and professionals.

Another detail given by the site: according to sources who worked on the project, the video game aspect would not be the priority of the manufacturer. Apple would not have developed specific controllers, preferring to focus on interpreting hand and head movements for interactions with virtual objects.

That doesn’t mean there won’t be games for Apple’s AR headset. But while the competition, Meta in the lead, puts the package on video games to promote their devices, it would therefore not be a significant selling point for the Apple device. Miscalculation? After all, the iPhone owes a good part of its huge success to video games, which are also an effective way to give that little “wow” side to augmented and virtual realities.

From a technical point of view, the helmet would integrate nothing less than 14 cameras, which is close to a previous rumor by Ming-Chi Kuo who advanced the number of 15 video sensors. A real headache for hardware and software engineers! But these cameras would be essential for the most faithful possible reproduction of the user’s face.

Apple would indeed have made it a point of honor to develop very realistic avatars that best display the expressions and movements of the user’s mouth.

Prototype of virtual and augmented reality headset

Composite image of Apple’s virtual and augmented reality headset

Yesterday, Mark Gurman wrote that members of Apple’s board of directors were given a demo of the device, which would mean that its development is almost complete.

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