Apple VR headset gets closer to reality

Goodbye iPod, hello Eye bursa. According to a report by Mark Gurman of Bloomberg, Apple has introduced a new VR headset made by Apple to its board of directors. Such a product has been rumored for a while and has been in development at Apple since 2015. We don’t yet know what it looks like or much about its features. It could be weeks, months, or even two years before an Apple headset comes out, but the takeaway is that the device actually appears to be there.

The plunge into virtual reality hardware has been controversial within the company, with opposition and disagreements among Apple brass, including former Apple design chief Jony Ive. The upcoming headset uses both virtual and augmented reality technology, and while Apple is also expected to announce a pair of augmented reality-only glasses one day, it’s not far off.

When the headset comes out, it will likely shake up the wearable virtual reality ecosystem. Today, Meta Oculus goggles largely dominate this space. Meta created quite a buzz with its metaverse marketing, propelling us into a dazzling Cyberpunk future. However, Meta has done its best in its AR and VR ambitions, while spending $10 billion in its metaverse efforts.

But when Apple releases something, that usually matters. And this will be the first truly new Apple iThing since the Apple Watch. It certainly appears to be setting up a showdown between the huge consumer tech companies, as Apple and Meta compete head-to-head with people from entities for their vision of virtual reality. Maybe they can fight in it pitsaber.

Here’s what else happened this week:

Qualcomm is getting some new guts

On Friday, the American tech giant announced some new chips that should soon make their way to Android phones near you. The Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 is a modest boost to the Snapdragon 8 that you’ll find in many premium Android devices now. Qualcomm says the “plus” version is 10 percent faster than the older chip, and 30 percent more power efficient. Qualcomm’s other new chip is the Snapdragon 7 Gen 1, an alternative to the Snapdragon 700 chips found in mid-range phones. This time around, the chips will not be made by Samsung, Qualcomm’s former Snapdragon partner.

LEGO YOUR LAPTOP

Framework, which makes “your right to repair” laptops, has launched its second round of ultra repair laptops. Computers are designed with reform in mind. New parts are easy to customize, disassemble and unlock. The first batch of laptops shipped in July, although it looks like they’re all sold out now. The tire says its next shipment will come out in August. David Pierce at the Verge has a good story about how Framework devices fit into the modular tool movement.

Speaking of repair…

RTR Bill Failed

California’s Right to Reform Act bills before a Senate committee on Thursday. If passed, the law would have been one of the first in the United States to force device manufacturers to make their products more easily repairable by the people who buy them. The law required companies to provide repair manuals, parts, and tools for use on their machines.

Advocacy group CALPIRG released a statement that blamed the bill’s failure on lobbying from tech manufacturers. “SB 983 could have saved California families up to $4.3 billion annually in spending on electronics and helped Californians reduce toxic e-waste,” CALPIRG advocate Sander Cochin said in the statement. Instead, intense lobbying efforts by industry groups helped close the bill.”

More Well, Google

Research firm Canalys published a report this week showing that Google is now the fifth largest smartphone maker in the US, after Apple, Samsung, Lenovo and TCL. Google has now captured 3 percent of the country’s smartphone market. That doesn’t sound huge, but as Android Police notes, it nearly quadruples the market share the Pixels had one year ago.

Get a ride

May is National Bicycle Month, so what’s the best time to talk about cycling? This week in lab tools Podcast, WIRED Reviews Editor and Bike Expert Adrienne So join the show to tell you how to turn your wheels.

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