Apple’s Forthcoming AR/VR Headset Will Launch Metaverse Battle With Meta
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Apple’s Forthcoming AR/VR Headset Will Launch Metaverse Battle With Meta

Created 1yr ago, last updated 1yr ago

Apple is coming after Mark Zuckerberg’s metaverse dreams.

Apple’s Forthcoming AR/VR Headset Will Launch Metaverse Battle With Meta

Apple “Reality” headset is setting it up to push the direction of metverse technologies in a different direction from Zuckerberg’s vision of an immersive virtual world in which people will spend many hours working and playing every day.

Apple is coming after Mark Zuckerberg’s metaverse dreams.

The Meta CEO has bet his social media empire’s future on the metaverse, losing $9.4 billion in the first three quarters of 2022 with little to show for it other than Horizon Worlds, an “immersive” virtual reality that’s been heavily criticized for atrocious graphics, floating legless avatars and knocking 70% off the social media giant’s stock price.

And a $1,500 virtual reality (VR) headset with capabilities like eye and face tracking, with a pass-through camera for augmented reality (AR), that even Zuckerberg has said are years away from mainstream use.

Headsets like the Meta Quest Pro are vital for the eventual dominance of immersive virtual realities that Zuckerberg believes are the future of socializing, entertainment and work — enough that he is betting the company’s future on it.

But details of Apple’s own high-end headset, which will focus on both virtual and augmented reality (AR) are beginning to leak, along with hiring efforts, that give a glimpse into where the famously tight-lipped company sees metaverses — a word it doesn’t actually like — going.

Bloomberg on Sunday reported that Apple’s eagerly awaited but short-on-details mixed reality headset — the preferred phrase in Cupertino — will run as much as twice as much as the Meta Quest Pro, with features ranging from a far higher-resolution viewscreen and Mac-capable M2 chip 10 or more cameras both outside and inside the headset — the latter potentially for uses like eye-tracking, which will help locate AR information and eventually make metaverse avatars more lifelike with capabilities like facial expressions.

It will also have a dedicated operating system, realityOS.

And, job listings suggest that Apple is looking at building a VR gaming pipeline, as well as AR capabilities that could range from pop-up information overlays on the real world to current uses like allowing experts to instruct assembly line or oil rig workers on how to fix mechanical issues in real time, while they work, while leaving hands free from holding a tablet.

Philosophical Differences

More broadly, the two companies are in what Zuckerberg described as a “very deep, philosophical competition” to build the metaverse and influence “what direction the internet should go in,” The Verge reported in July. Zuckerberg said:
“This is a competition of philosophies and ideas, where they believe that by doing everything themselves and tightly integrating that they build a better consumer experience. And we believe that there is a lot to be done in specialization across different companies, and [that] will allow a much larger ecosystem to exist.”

While blockchain-based metaverses like Decentraland and The Sandbox — and non-blockchain versions like Fortnite and Second Life — are primarily about entertainment, uses go far beyond that.

Organizations ranging from Anheuser-Busch InBev to Interpol are employing metaverses and “digital twin” technology for uses ranging from improving bottling plant efficiency to training customs officers.
And Zuckerberg has said he believes metaverses are the future of workplace collaboration — something he sees happening in a Meta metaverse and others, like Deloitte, see leading to the creation of private enterprise metaverses.
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