While we have a very short distance to the unveiling of Apple’s mixed reality headset, Bloomberg He has revealed details of the development process of this product that we have never heard before. According to informed sources in Apple, Tim Cook He did not have a direct role in the development of the headset and mostly watched product demos. Other senior managers including Craig Federighi have also taken a similar approach.
Dan Riccio who was known as the leader of Apple’s hardware team at the time of the beginning of the headset project, Mike Rockwell (former CTO of Dolby Laboratories) in 2015 to work on the device’s displays. Rockwell then formed a special team called “Technology Development Group” or T288 inside Apple, which is considered a completely secret team.
At the same time as the beginning of the headset project by Rockwell and the T288 team, Apple’s industrial design team led by Johnny Ive He was also involved in the development process of the headset. Ive and his team members had just completed the Apple Watch project and needed to work on a new innovative project.
As Bloomberg reports, Rockwell and Ive’s teams quickly fell out over the direction of the mixed reality headset project. Rockwell’s team sought to produce a product that would display virtual reality content in a realistic video format. In this case, a device the size of a Mac Mini was supposed to play the most graphic visual content possible.
Jony Ive, who was involved in the development process of the headset until just a year ago, preferred a portable, independent and compact device, even if this form factor caused a drop in processing power. He told senior executives that producing a mixed reality headset might alienate users. Jony Ive’s vision finally won and Apple produced a product according to his vision.
When Apple CEO Tim Cook started the project, he wanted to create mixed reality glasses that the user could use all day long. Apple engineers could not implement this request, however, what Jony Ive said was very close to Tim Cook’s original vision.
After some time, Apple’s T288 team produced the first experimental virtual reality device, codenamed N301. In some areas, this device functioned similar to augmented reality devices and unlike headsets such as HoloLens and MagicLip, it did not allow users to see the surrounding environment directly. In Apple’s test device, external cameras recorded the video of the environment to be displayed on the screen in front of the user’s eyes.
Despite all the disagreements, Apple has advanced the mixed reality headset project and plans to unveil this product on June 15 during WWDC 2023. Rumors say that the price of the Apple headset reaches about $3,000 and the cost of its production is $1,600.