Tang Tan, Apple’s VP of iPhone design, is reportedly leaving the company to join legendary designer Jony Ive and OpenAI CEO Sam Altman and work on a new AI hardware project. The outgoing Apple executive is moving to Jony Ive’s LoveFrom design firm to lead hardware engineering on AI-powered devices, reports Bloomberg.
The products are still at an early concept stage but some are said to be focused on use inside the home. Ive’s ultimate goal is to turn the AI hardware business into its own company, according to the report. LoveFrom is working on devices with AI embedded into them. Reports surfaced in November that Altman was planning to launch a new AI venture.
“The exact nature of the venture wasn’t immediately known. More details, meanwhile, have also emerged about Altman’s broader ambitions in developing AI,” The Information reported. In September, reports claimed that former chief Apple designer Ive and Altman are considering launching an AI hardware device together, which will be first-of-its-kind if materialised.
Ive, who is the renowned designer of the iPhone, was reportedly in talks with Altman about an AI hardware project. “SoftBank CEO and investor Masayoshi Son has talked to both about the idea,” The Information reported, citing people aware of the matter. OpenAI once had a robotics research division but it was disbanded in July 2021 after encountering technical roadblocks.