The tech site corroborates previously reported details on the top-secret headset such as its “T288” codename and purported use of a custom Apple chip. But the most interesting thing is its alleged performance. It sounds like it could blow away every existing AR/VR headset.
Up until now, we’ve only heard whispers of what Apple’s AR/VR headset might be like. But if CNET’s report is accurate (and nothing changes in the next two years), Apple could out-muscle current VR leaders such as Oculus and HTC.
Apple’s T288 headset is said to support both AR and VR apps. Most impressive is the resolution it reportedly packs: an 8K display per eye, for a total resolution of 16K. That would be an insane amount of pixels.
To put that into perspective, the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive only have 1,080 x 1,200 resolution per eye, barely meeting full HD. Startup Pimax successfully funded a Kickstarter for the world’s first 8K VR headset, but has yet to ship any product to backers.
Of course, if Apple were to successfully release a headset with such high resolution, it’d solve a number of issues current headsets suffer from such as the screen door effect and motion blur.
For now, it isn’t real and nobody should get too excited for vaporware.
Besides the ridiculously high-res screens, the headset would also be wireless. CNET says Apple is exploring 60GHz WiGig, a high-speed wireless protocol capable of transferring lots of data quickly. One of the most annoying things about high-end VR is that it requires a cable tethered to a powerful PC. Apple’s headset could fix this.
Additionally, the headset might be powered by a new custom 5-nanometer chip (the iPhone X uses a 10-nanometer A11 Bionic chip). Apple has been designing its own chips for years, starting with the iPad’s A4 chip in 2010, and the silicon now powers all of its iOS devices, Apple Watches, AirPods, HomePods, and has even made its way into some Macs. It’s a no-brainer the company is looking to power its AR/VR headset with its own chips.
Of course, none of this stuff matters if customers don’t care. AR and VR have been hyped for years, but have yet to gain mainstream traction. Sure, there’s the occasional AR hit such as Pokémon Go and the VR hit such as Audio Shield, but both virtual platforms can hardly be described as must-have right now.
Not to mention, we’re skeptical Apple would ever release a headset that supports VR. Apple CEO Tim Cook has said on many occasions he thinks AR is better than VR because it’s not as isolating of an experience. Apple’s chief design officer Jony Ive is also not keen on putting a computer on your face.
We’ve no doubt Apple is spending a good amount of money on R&D for this rumored headset, but we’ll believe it when it launches. Just like the company’s “Project Titan” self-driving car project, this headset could be scrapped by the time 2020 rolls around. For now, it isn’t real and nobody should get too excited for vaporware that exists merely as prototypes in Apple’s lab.