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Apple AR headset will rely on companion iPhone or iPad – report

The first Apple augmented reality headset will be dependent on the companion iPhone or another device to power most features, according to a new report.

New details about the custom silicon Apple has reportedly designed for the wearable device, published by The Information, suggest it’ll lack the muscle to go it alone.

The report says the chip will require wireless tethering to an iPhone, iPad or Mac (or a PC for that matter) because it won’t contain the Neural Engine Apple uses in its newer homegrown processors. That’ll mean the headset may need a leg-up will be needed when handling complex AI tasks, the report says.

The report also says the chip has been made using a 5-nanometer architecture that’ll be a little long in the tooth by the time Apple releases the device expected late next year. The report also says “Apple could push the release back even further.”

Other purported details outed by the sources include the presence of both a CPU and GPU so some standalone operation would be possible, but Apple’s focus calls for the higher-end experiences to be sent over a wireless link. Battery life will also be a focus, the report says.

As previously rumoured, the report says Apple is planning on targeting developers who’ll create high-end experiences for the new platform before a model more suited to everyday users may follow a year later once hardware has been refined and more content is available. The initial device could cost as much as $3,000.

For years, rumours have suggested Apple sees the AR wearable sector as the eventual successor to the almighty iPhone, and just last weekend reports suggested Tim Cook is staying on as CEO to oversee the launch of the new platform before riding off into the sunset.

Apple is yet to acknowledge it plans to release a headset, although its exhaustive work with developers within the ARKit realm and the multitude of patents the company owns pertaining to the sector make a product launch a case of when rather than if.

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