A render of a potential Apple headset [AppleInsider]
Apple’s mixed-reality headset is a big deal for the company, with many of the highest executives involved with the project to try and make it a success.
Apple’s AR and VR headset is expected to be unveiled during WWDC 2023 in June, and could be the launch of a brand new platform for the company. With a lot riding on it being a success, many of the top brass at Apple are pitching in to realize that vision.
In a rundown from Mark Gurman in his “Power On” newsletter for Bloomberg, the list of executives involved in the seven-year journey includes Mike Rockwell, who oversees the engineering of the device. A person involved with its development said “He’s an utter genius and if anyone can get this done, it’s him.”
Given the closeness and involvement, Rockwell could become one of the faces of the device for its unveiling.
COO Jeff Williams is in charge of the design team, including the human interface group who have worked on the overall vision. Williams also manages manufacturing the device itself, which is apparently thought internally to be the most complex product Apple has ever designed.
Between Rockwell and the top executive team is Dan Ricco, who has worked just on the headset for the last two years. Below Rockwell is senior lieutenant Paul Meade, handling hardware engineering for the headset and previously worked on iPhone hardware management until 2017.
Jony Ive is also namechecked in the list, as while he was in a part-time role during the early creation of the headset, he apparently pushed to avoid the isolating designs of existing headsets. This included lobbying for a portable base station-less design, an outward-facing display for others to see the eyes of the user, and a smooth transition between VR and AR.
Though Ive is no longer with Apple, he was still involved with the headset until his contract ended a year ago.