Apple's expected AR/VR headset is still at least a year away from being ready, but the company has made significant progress in designing a silicone tailored to its functionality. We now know that the device downloads most rendering tasks and relies on your iPhone or Mac for internet connection and location services.
Apple has long been rumored to be working on virtual/booster headphones, and it seems that in order to use them, they have to be connected to the iPhone in any way. According to a report from The Information, the new device works similarly to the first generation Apple Watch, with some features requiring a wireless connection to a nearby iPhone or Mac.
The report notes that Apple completed work on the SoC headset last year and provided physical designs for the two other chipsets that will be included in the new device - the display driver and a sensor. All three chips are manufactured using a 5nm TSMC process node, with Intel said to have supplied most of the 3nm casting production capacity.
p Interestingly, the new SOC does not integrate some of the features found in the A and M1 series, especially the neural motor. However, it has better video decoding and encoding performance and a more efficient pair of CPUs and GPUs. The headset will be able to do some basic tasks on its own, but it relies on a wireless iOS or macOS device to improve augmented reality and virtual reality experiences, possibly for lighter and easier wearing.
This is not surprising, given that current augmented reality devices such as the Magic Leap and Microsoft HoloLens cannot wear several hours at a time. The first has to be connected to a PC, the second is a full Windows PC in one headset, but none of the devices has been able to create an important user.
It's hard to say when we'll be able to see Apple's first use of an augmented reality headset because TSMC had problems with low performance in its image sensor tests, of which the MR headset is said to be unusually large. With a bit of luck, Apple may be able to deliver it in the second half of 2022, which isn't possible soon.
Apple AR headset says it needs to connect to your iPhone or Mac