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Apple’s Exploratory Design Group (XDG) has long been shrouded in secrecy. However, Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman recently shed some light on the team’s inner workings in the latest edition of his Power On newsletter.
According to Gurman, XDG operates like a startup within Apple and consists of a few hundred engineers and academics. The team works out of a building known as Tantau 9, located just outside the ring at Apple Park. XDG technically operates within Apple’s Hardware Technologies Group led by Johny Srouji, and its day-to-day operations are led by a handful of engineers and scientists.
XDG’s primary focus is Apple’s noninvasive blood glucose monitoring technology, but the team is also working on several other projects. Bloomberg reports that XDG is working on next-generation display technology, as well as augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) features for Apple’s headsets that can assist people with eye diseases.
Moreover, XDG is also focused on developing low-power processor technologies and next-generation batteries for smartphones. According to Bloomberg, many of the chip and battery technologies developed by XDG have been shipping for years in iPhones, iPads, and Macs.
Although the team operates like a startup, it remains compartmentalized, and members working on one project within XDG aren’t allowed to communicate about their work with other members of XDG assigned to different projects. However, the team’s members are organized by skill sets rather than individual projects, which means that one engineer could be working on several initiatives that fit their skills, rather than on one specific product.
Apple’s XDG group is said to have vast financial resources and headroom to explore countless ideas. As a result, it remains to be seen what emerges next from the team.