Apple CEO Tim Cook. Photo by Bloomberg.
Reality Check
Apple AR/VR

How Apple Could Get an Edge in AR/VR with a Tethered Headset

By  |  Sept. 2, 2021 11:00 AM PDT
Photo: Apple CEO Tim Cook. Photo by Bloomberg.

News reported earlier today by my colleague Wayne Ma that Apple’s forthcoming mixed reality headset won’t be a purely standalone device is a big deal. It might not be obvious, but this implicitly gives Apple an edge over rivals like Facebook, allowing Apple to offer a more capable headset.

As Wayne’s story says, the headset’s main chip will be geared towards power efficiency and video decompression, relying on another device like an iPhone for enhanced processing power. Other headset makers can do that, of course. But of all the companies interested in AR and VR, only Apple makes its own phone that could be wirelessly tethered—and users are already used to the smooth process of linking AirPods or the Apple Watch to iPhones. 

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