Apple’s mixed reality headset is in the works and is tipped to be launched next year. The headset that combines elements of virtual and augmented reality is considered Apple’s next big bet after the success of its smartphones. A report by Bloomberg says that the Cupertino giant is reportedly continuing to hire engineers for the Technology Development Group (TDG) working on its AR and VR technology. The job listings and personnel changes at Apple are offering an early glimpse of some of the device’s capabilities. Apple has also recruited Dave Scott, a former manager who departed the company last year and shifted engineers working on other projects to the headset team.
Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman states in his weekly Power On newsletter that managerial changes have taken place in the TDG which is working on the company’s ambitious mixed-reality headset and other AR/VR technologies. A few job listings indicate that Apple is ramping up its work to bolster the device with content. According to Gurman, the company is looking to hire a software producer with experience in visual effects and game asset pipelines who can create digital content for augmented- and virtual-reality environments. The job listings also indicate that Apple is planning to build a video service for the headset featuring 3D content that can be played in VR mode.
Gurman in his newsletter also mentioned that Apple is looking for engineers who can work on development tools related to virtual and augmented reality. Further, there are hints of App Intents in some listings, that would support features like Siri, Search, and Shortcuts.
Additionally, one job listing has a reference to the development of a 3D mixed-reality world, suggesting that Apple is working on a virtual environment similar to the metaverse. That listing describes working with other developers to “build tools and frameworks to enable connected experiences in a 3D mixed-reality world.” They would be working with Apple’s UI framework, human interface designers and system capabilities teams for solving problems in the 3D application space.
Gurman said that Apple has onboarded Dave Scott, a former Apple senior manager that worked on the company’s Project Titan self-driving car team until 2021. Scott is known for his work in the medical and robotics industries and for getting complex products ready to ship, according to Gurman, and his involvement could add health applications for the headset.
Apple has also reportedly shifted 20-year Apple veteran engineer Yaniv Gur to its headset team. “The headset team already has an operating system chief, Geoff Stahl, so Gur’s appointment suggests to me that the company is developing a suite of productivity apps for the headset,” Gurman says.
Apple’s mixed reality headset has been in the news for quite some time now, while the company is yet to acknowledge the development of such a device. It is expected to launch in early 2023 and Pegatron will reportedly be the main supplier for the device. Apple is said to use its M2 processor with 16GB of memory for the mixed-reality headset. It is said to run a new operating system dubbed realityOS and could allow users to view certain invisible things. It could use iris scanning for signing in and making payments.