Can Apple's Reality Pro Headset Save the Metaverse?

Can Apple's Reality Pro Headset Save the Metaverse?

Created 1yr ago, last updated 1yr ago

With Mark Zuckerberg's flailing and extravagant spending sucking the air out of enthusiasm for immersive virtual realities, Apple's AR/VR headset might renew interest in the metaverse.

Can Apple's Reality Pro Headset Save the Metaverse?

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Apple is about ready to launch its highly anticipated (if sparsely detailed) mixed-reality headset, which could give it a key role in the creation of Web3 and the metaverse.

Bloomberg is reporting that the alternate reality/mixed-reality headset Apple has been working on since 2017 is scheduled to be revealed in June and put on sale before the end of the year.

The headset, said to be called Reality Pro, will likely be a standalone device with a built-in computer rather than relying on an iPhone — and will be usable both for superimposing data and information on the real world as well as an entry into immersive 3D virtual realities.

The price has been estimated in various sources as at least $2,000 to $3,000.

This means both the vision of the metaverse that has been pitched by companies ranging from Meta on down to smaller purveyors of blockchain-based virtual realities like Decentraland and The Sandbox to the more AR-focused applications that could make up a key feature of a blockchain-based Web3.

Back in November, job listings associated with the Reality Pro line suggested that Apple is not only looking to build its own AR environment but also a virtual reality that seems to be much like a metaverse — although as Bloomberg noted back in November, that's a term Apple's marketing chief has said the company will never embrace.

Meta Marketing War

In many ways this puts Apple on track to be in direct conflict with Mark Zuckerberg's Meta, which is essentially betting the Facebook franchise on the metaverse as the future of social media interactions, entertainment and even virtual workplaces.

It has also invested heavily in its Meta Quest headset line, with Zuckerberg last year offering a sneak peak at what it sees as the necessary functions of a true metaverse headset that includes technologies like eye tracking and far higher resolution than anything available today.

Meta has also stumbled hard in its metaverse endeavors, with Zuckerberg posting a selfie of such atrocious graphics that it did badly damaged the reputation of the company's already much-derided Horizon Worlds virtual reality environment and helped send its stock price — already tumbling due to an estimated $12 billion metaverse investment in 2022 — further into the ground.

Meta's troubles have cast doubts on the viability of metaverses in general. A successful headset product from Apple could help turn that around.

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