Sina science and technology news Beijing time on May 19 morning news, it is reported that Apple research and development of augmented reality (MR) headset is basically ready, the outside world is expected to unravel the mystery of the next few weeks to the world. Interestingly, a former Apple marketing executive recently poured cold water on the hardware.
Michael Gartenberg, a former Apple marketing executive, said Apple's augmented reality headset could turn out to be one of the worst tech products ever.
Gartenberg said Apple's device is a high-risk "gamble," not least because there is little market for similar products from competitors. Currently, companies including Magic Leap and Microsoft sell augmented reality headsets, but sales have been lackluster. It has also been revealed that some Apple employees have concerns about the product.
Mr Gartenberg said the launch was likely driven by intense internal pressure on management to come up with "the next big innovation".
At its Worldwide Developers Conference on June 5, Apple is reportedly planning to officially unveil an augmented reality headset. Over the years, the Apple team worked on it and delayed its release several times.
The hardware is likely to be priced at $3,000, which, combined with app features and performance, has some Apple employees discounting the new device for a number of reasons.
Testers have described the device as looking like traditional ski goggles, uncomfortable to wear, and lacking a killer app that hooks users.
Gartenberg said the augmented reality device would be a "very un-Apple" product, if media reports from Apple employees are true.
Historically, the former executive said, Apple has come up with innovative products that sell in the millions and have high profit margins, and it does not launch expensive experimental products for minority groups such as developers or hobbyists, a model that failed with Google's smart Glasses and Microsoft's HoloLens.
Apple has not officially commented on Gartenberg's comments.
So far, gaming is the only mass market for augmented reality headsets, Gartenberg said, and if Apple doesn't offer some surprising features outside of gaming, the device doesn't look like a good value proposition. In addition, according to some sources, the size of the battery module is too large to make the whole product small.
Gartenberg thinks it's possible that Apple's strategy for an AR device isn't yet clear, or that the smartphones and tablets it sells are innovations from the Jobs era, or that the company is simply proving that it's still innovating with an AR device. Other tech companies have come up with innovations such as folding phones and artificial intelligence.
Since the introduction of the iPhone, expectations have been high for Apple's innovative products, and augmented reality devices have the potential to be a huge disappointment, the former executive said.
This isn't the first time Gartenberg has poured cold water on Apple's product. He has previously written that he does not believe augmented reality devices will be Apple's next disruptive innovation.
He wrote that until Apple or other companies can prove that augmented reality and virtual reality products are compelling enough for consumers to buy, wear and offer new options for home entertainment, he believes the new technology will have a hard time gaining traction.
Apple has been working on an augmented reality device for seven years, and had originally planned to release it in 2019 and 2022, but had to skip the release date. In March, engineers working on the hardware revealed that it could be delayed again because of the current economic climate. The latest news, however, suggests that Apple plans to officially announce its augmented reality device on June 5.
If true, it would be Apple's first major product launch since the Apple Watch in 2005. The Apple Watch was met with some criticism or skepticism when it was launched, but it has since become a huge revenue generator for Apple and a leader in the smartwatch industry.
Responsible Editor: Zheng Zhuo