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Bloomberg details purported development process of Apple's AR and VR headsets

By Cookie Monster - on 20 Jun 2020, 12:00am

Bloomberg details purported development process of Apple's AR and VR headsets

Screenshot taken from Front Page Tech's YouTube video on "Apple's AR Glasses! HERE YOU GO! Design, Name, Price, Release date, and more! EXCLUSIVE LEAKS!"

Bloomberg released a report detailing Apple's past and ongoing development process for its AR/VR devices.

The AR/VR devices are believed to be the next big hit for Apple after the Apple Watch and a first from the Technology Development Group led by Mike Rockwell. Rockwell is said to have a team of 1,000 engineers working on the two devices to disrupt the AR and VR markets. 

The two products are said to be code-named N301 and N421. While N301 will combine the best of AR and VR to offer a superior experience for gaming and entertainment, N421 is designed to be a pair of lightweight glasses for AR experiences.

Rockwell's team initally developed N301 to be a very powerful device which had graphics and processing speeds unmatched in the market. However, the advanced processing capabilities resulted in high heat emission which required N301 to be used alongside a stationary hub that looked like a small Mac. This was also reported by CNET in April 2018.

Jony Ive, the ex-design chief apparently disliked the idea and advised Rockwell to redesign N301 to be a fully independent device at the expense of lower graphic and processing capabilities. Rockwell disagreed and believed a superior performance would help N301 stay ahead of the competition. Both parties failed to reach an agreement for months until Apple CEO Tim Cook sided with Ive.

At its current phase, N301 is not as powerful as it was originally intended to be. It is claimed to have ultra-high resolution screens to make it nearly impossible for the user to differentiate between the virtual environment and the real environment.

Prototypes are rumoured to look like a smaller version of the Oculus Quest with fabric material and a more premium build. The technologies developed for the stationary hub are being redirected to develop the in-house ARM chips for Mac. A dedicated App Store with a focus on games and video streaming, will be built for N301. The Information had a similar report in November 2019 on the design, materials and app ecosystem.

There are conflicting reports on the launch and arrival of the two products. Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo expects the Apple Glasses (likely to be N421) to debut in 2022 while tipster Jon Prosser believes the launch date to be much earlier. Rockwell reportedly revealed a 2022 launch timeline during an internal meeting in October 2019. In a recent YouTube video, Prosser shared that Apple had plans to preview the N421 in September this year, but it could be pushed back to March 2021.

Source: Bloomberg