Home Business Jony Ive, ex-Apple design chief, clashed with VR headset team

Jony Ive, ex-Apple design chief, clashed with VR headset team

0



Before leaving the company, Apple design chief Jony Ive reportedly clashed with the team developing its upcoming virtual reality headset.

While the team — which had grown under executive Mike Rockwell to to number more than 1,000 employees — had high technical ambitions for its dual virtual reality and augmented reality wearable, Ive demanded that the team scale back its goal in order to deliver a more streamlined design, according to Bloomberg.

Ive particularly took issue with the fact that the headset — which was “initially designed to be an ultra-powerful system” that would deliver the “best of both VR and AR” — would have required additional processing capabilities to be housed in a separate hub that connected via wireless signal. Ive urged the team to focus on a less powerful device that could all fit in one piece.

The monthslong standoff eventually landed on the desk of Apple CEO Tim Cook, who sided with Ive — famous for developing the designs of products like the iPhone, iPad and Apple Watch.

Apple’s new device — which could be announced as soon as 2021 for a 2022 release — will feature “ultra-high-resolution screens that will make it almost impossible for a user to differentiate the virtual world from the real one,” sources at Apple told Bloomberg.

The report did not detail how the device would mix AR and VR, but other devices like Facebook’s Oculus feature a front-facing camera which allows the user to see what is going on around them when they are not playing a game or watching a video.

Cook has in the past been critical of exclusively-VR devices, saying that he thinks AR will be the more dominant of the two technologies.

“I think it’s something that doesn’t isolate people,” he said of AR earlier this year. “We can use it to enhance our discussion, not substitute it for human connection, which I’ve always deeply worried about in some of the other technologies.”

Apple has been steadily increasing the AR capabilities of its iPad and iPhone devices, dedicating significant chunks of its annual keynote presentations to showing off the latest breakthroughs in the technology.

The headset would mark Apple’s first foray into a new product category since the release of the Apple Watch in 2014. The wearable will reportedly have its own App store and have a focus on gaming, and will also be able to stream video “while also serving as a sort of super-high-tech communications device for virtual meetings.”

Apple is also aiming to announce a pair of AR glasses in 2023, which would project messages and map information onto the wearer’s field of vision without obscuring their ability to see their surroundings.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here