Apple recently announced that it had moved executive Dan Riccio to a “new role focusing on a new project and reporting to CEO Tim Cook.” On Monday, it appears that the secretive “new project” has been revealed. According to a report from Bloomberg, Riccio has been tasked to focus on Apple’s long-rumored augmented reality and virtual reality headsets.
Formerly the head of Apple’s hardware engineering teams, Riccio has been at Apple since 1998 and according to the company has been a “leader in designing, developing, and engineering almost all of Apple’s products,” dating back to the first-generation iMac. Recent projects he worked on include the 5G-capable iPhone 12 line, the company’s new Macs based on its M1 processors, and its new AirPods Max over-ear headphones.
Per Bloomberg, Riccio was working on Apple’s future AR and VR headsets in his prior role but will now focus on those projects “on a full-time basis.” The outlet says that Apple vice president Mike Rockwell remains in charge of the day-to-day leadership on the project, with “well over a thousand engineers” working on the devices.
Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Recent rumors have suggested the first headset will be pricey. Last week The Information reported that the headset could run $3,000, featuring 8K displays and over a dozen cameras. The VR headset, which may also do some augmented reality, is also expected to be able to track hands and eyes and provide spatial audio through its headband.
The headset is rumored to be coming in 2022.