Apple’s Upcoming AR/VR Headset Will Require an iPhone To Work

A new report has provided more details on Apple’s upcoming AR and VR headset. The Information report claims that Apple’s AR headset will need to be wirelessly tethered to an iPhone so that one can use most of its “advanced features.”

This will be similar to the initial versions of the Apple Watch that launched with only Wi-Fi connectivity onboard and required to be tethered to an iPhone for almost all major use cases.

As per the report, Apple finished working on the key SoCs for the AR/VR headset last year. The SoC and two other custom-designed Apple chips reached the “tape-out” milestone last year. This means the physical design of the chips is complete and they are ready for trial production.

Apple AR Headset concept

These chips are not as powerful as Apple’s A-series or M-series chips used in iPhones and Macs though. They also do not feature a Neural Engine or any kind of machine learning capabilities. Instead, the chips have been optimized for transmitting data wirelessly, compressing/decompressing video, and maximizing power efficiency to extend battery life.

Apple has also finished working on the image sensor and display driver for the headset.

Apple will again rely on TSMC to fabricate the chips, though mass production is seemingly at least a year away at best. There have been rumors of Apple unveiling its AR/VR headset in 2022, but the company may only showcase it late next year before it is launched to developers and the public in early 2023.

A Bloomberg report from the beginning of this year detailed that Apple’s first AR headset could be expensive and heavy, and it will be a “pricey, niche precursor” to the more ambitious Apple Glasses due to launch in 2023.

Are you looking forward to Apple’s AR/VR headset? What are your expectations from it? Drop a comment and let us know!

[Via The Information]