Some Apple Employees Fear Its $3,000 Mixed-Reality Headset Could Flop
Apple has allegedly demonstrated its mixed reality headset to its top executives recently, in an attempt to generate excitement for the upcoming platform launch. While executives are keen on the product, others within Apple are not sure it’s a home run hit. Eight anonymous current and former employees told the New York Times that they are skeptical about the headset, despite Apple’s apparent glossy demonstration of the technology.
Manufacturing has already begun for a June release of the $3,000 headset, insiders say in the Times’ article:
Some employees have defected from the project because of their doubts about its potential, three people with knowledge of the moves said. Others have been fired over the lack of progress with some aspects of the headset, including its use of Apple’s Siri voice assistant, one person said.Even leaders at Apple have questioned the product’s prospects. It has been developed at a time when morale has been strained by a wave of departures from the company’s design team, including Mr. Ive, who left Apple in 2019 and stopped advising the company last year….
Because the headset won’t fit over glasses, the company has plans to sell prescription lenses for the displays to people who don’t wear contacts, a person familiar with the plan said. During the device’s development, Apple has focused on making it excel for videoconferencing and spending time with others as avatars in a virtual world. The company has called the device’s signature application “copresence,” a word designed to capture the experience of sharing a real or virtual space with someone in another place. It is akin to what Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s founder, calls the “metaverse….”
But the road to deliver augmented reality has been littered with failures, false starts and disappointments, from Google Glass to Magic Leap and from Microsoft’s HoloLens to Meta’s Quest Pro. Apple is considered a potential savior because of its success combining new hardware and software to create revolutionary devices.
Still, the challenges are daunting.
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