★ If a Tree That Was Never Announced Falls in a Forest Does It Make a Sound? by John Gruber for Daring Fireball
More John Gruber input on the Apple AR/VR headset. Sounds like the external battery is gospel for gen one. More interesting is Gruber’s understanding about the outward facing display and the requirement for external headphones:
My understanding is that there is no front-facing screen, but that Apple’s team had long joked about such an idea, and perhaps someone who heard the joking mistook the idea as real and passed it along to Ma. It sure sounds like a joke to me, but maybe my understanding is wrong. Unless I’m forgetting something, Gurman has never reported on a front-facing screen. (Also, the headset has built-in headphones — why in the world would a $3,000 gadget that goes around your head need external headphones?)
Kinda kills my most of my headline from last week. The headphones bit feels mute to me. I don’t recall reports saying there were no built-in speakers, but rather that the only option for headphones would be AirPods. Currently in the Rumor Mill, that stands.
Anyway. Something is definitely coming from Apple from this team this year, and I get the sense the company thinks it’s going to be something special. If true, that means it will likely also not be what most people outside the company are expecting. Outsiders inevitably base expectations on the current state of the art. But the iPhone was not an iPod phone. Apple Watch was not a Fitbit with a higher price. If Apple is still Apple, this first headset should be much more than a slightly nicer version of VR headsets as we know them.
I’m inclined to agree with Gruber. The real pinch hitter for Apple is their marriage of hardware and software. That union is vital for immersion in VR.
Two days in a row now, Apple has made hardware announcements. New M2 chips, Macs, and now the revival of the HomePod. They seem to be clearing the deck. It won’t be long now until a spring event invite hits the press’ inbox.