Apple’s AR/VR Headset Could Require an iPhone to Use

We already knew that Apple is hard at work on its own augmented and virtual reality headset. But a new report today suggests that the upcoming hybrid headset may rely on another Apple device to take advantage of all the features available on the device.

In a new report by The Information, the outlet claims that the headset is designed to communicate or be tethered to a host device via a wireless connection, such as an iPhone or another Apple device.

The reliance on another product within the Apple ecosystem is due to the headset's custom 5-nanometer chips, which Apple recently completed. Though these chips are not as powerful as chips used in other Apple devices, reporting that it lacks a neural engine for AI and machine learning abilities.

Yet, the headset still includes a CPU and GPU, so there's a chance the device may have some limited features available without another Apple device connected. This chip is also rumored to offer better wireless data transmission, video compressing and decompressing, and energy efficiency features.

This would not be the first time Apple relies on users to be integrated more into its own tech product ecosystem. The Apple Watches with only Wi-Fi connectivity require an iPhone to function. Facebook is another big tech company that was criticized for requiring Quest 2 owners to have a Facebook account in order to use its standalone VR headset.

Alongside a VR/AR headset, Apple is also working on a pair of AR smart glasses with a 2023 launch window.

Taylor is the Associate Tech Editor at IGN. You can follow her on Twitter @TayNixster.

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