Apple Executive Dan Riccio Reportedly Shifting Focus to AR/VR Headsets

Last month, Apple announced that its hardware engineering chief Dan Riccio would be transitioning to a new role focusing on a "new project," and Bloomberg's Mark Gurman today claimed the focus area will be AR/VR headsets.

apple dan riccio
From the report:

Riccio's move is similar to the approach taken last year by Phil Schiller, the company's former marketing chief. Both executives left senior roles but held on to areas that needed extra oversight. In Schiller's case, it was the App Store and public relations, and for Riccio, it’s the AR and VR headsets. This strategy helps keep key longtime executives at the company.

Apple's work on its first headset, a high-end VR-focused device with some AR capabilities, has faced development challenges, and people within Apple believe Riccio's extra focus could help. While he has ultimate oversight of the project, it is led day-to-day by Mike Rockwell, an Apple vice president who has well over a thousand engineers working on the two devices.

Apple is widely rumored to be working on multiple AR/VR wearables, including a mixed reality headset for release as early as next year and sleeker AR glasses coming at some point later. Last week, The Information claimed that the first headset could cost $3,000 and will be equipped with more than a dozen cameras, two ultra-high-resolution 8K displays, advanced eye-tracking technology, interchangeable headbands, and more.

The report also claims that Apple has advised staff that Johny Srouji, the company's Senior Vice President of Hardware Technologies, will now be overseeing a team working on in-house displays and camera technology. The move could suggest that Apple is "getting closer to shipping its first devices with fully custom displays," following rumors that next-generation iPad Pro and Mac models will feature Mini-LED displays.

Apple announced that John Ternus will become its Senior Vice President of Hardware Engineering, although Apple's executive leadership page still lists Riccio in this role for now. Ternus joined Apple's Product Design team in 2001 and has been a vice president of Hardware Engineering since 2013, the company said.

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Top Rated Comments

Unggoy Murderer Avatar
43 months ago

Oh my God do you think with the amount of money this guy gets paid you think you could crack a smile or two just standing there like a dimwit.
I feel weird when I'm smiling in a photo - there's a lot of ways people feel comfortable or not when being photographed.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Biglethal69 Avatar
43 months ago
Oh my God do you think with the amount of money this guy gets paid you think you could crack a smile or two just standing there like a dimwit.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
otternonsense Avatar
43 months ago
How many years has it been with the AR rumour mill that hasn't had something to show other than co-op LEGO showcases on iPads during past Apple events, virtual furniture dropping on whats-a-computer advertisements, and noodly ribbons for last year's event promos? Is there actual interest for this?
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
AngerDanger Avatar
43 months ago

…you could crack a smile or two [instead of] just standing there like a dimwit.
Seriously, is this too much to ask for?



Attachment Image
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ipedro Avatar
43 months ago

Although the benefits of having an Apple Watch-like device were quite obvious before the watch was first released (e.g. check notifications at a glance, receive calls, check your heart rate, stopwatch, listen to music without a big phone in your pocket, etc), I cant really see any benefits of a VR headset except for gaming and watching 3D porn. Apple is not famous with gaming nor with distributing pornography, so really cant see how Apple will position such product for a larger audience. I suspect it will be quite limited to specific professional cases, but won't be a casual product for the masses.
You’re trying to think of a future product in the context of the internet of today.

That’s like trying to imagine Uber before the invention of the smart phone and apps. “You mean, I have to call someone from a list of people who want to give me rides with their personal car, and they’ll come to me after I’ve given them my address and then they’ll take me to where I need to go, and then I have to pay them. Do they give me change? What do you mean “rate them”? Do I call someone to tell them how my ride went?”

Applications that we haven’t even thought of today will be invented once there’s lightweight AR glasses that have become ubiquitous. Overlaying information on the real world has the incredible potential of merging the internet with real life.

Where you needed to go to a browser to “use” the internet before, apps evolved to serve you data in niche ways. Where you use apps confined to a glass slab you carry with you, you’ll have useful information served to you, in context, overlaid on the world in your view.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
citysnaps Avatar
43 months ago

I don’t get the obsession with this, especially VR. Who cares about VR besides gamers? And as far as AR goes…are people that don’t have to really going to wear glasses/googles on their face all the time? Perhaps there are certain use cases/jobs where this could beneficial but I can’t see it being some mass consumer thing like a smartphone or even a smart watch.
No, not all the time. Only when performing tasks where having additional/augmented information would be beneficial.

Thoracic surgery comes to mind, where a surgeon can summon up records, information, photos, videos, databases, colleagues, and much more during a complex procedure. Or someone inspecting an industrial plant being able to benefit from information/images, previous inspections, etc. Or a car/airplane mechanic being able to access information/images/videos during a complex repair. Or an architect inspecting the framing of a home or building before proceeding to the next construction stage. I can easily see musicians, artists, and craftspeople using AR. There are plenty more situations both benefiting commercial/consumer uses.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)