Apple’s rumoured new headset won’t integrate users with the popular field of Metaverse

  • Apple Inc is rumored to be working to release a new powerful, lightweight Virtual Reality(VR) based headset in early 2022 according to experts and technology enthusiasts.
  • However, according to sources, the headset will not integrate its services to allow users to escape into a world of virtual reality known as the Metaverse.
  • Many technological giants, including Zuckerberg’s Meta, have been introducing Virtual Reality headsets such as the Quest2 to allow Metaverse to become the new reality. Hence Apple’s move comes as a big step in breaking the pattern.

What is the Metaverse?

Metaverse is an expansive and immersive version of the internet taken from the pages of Sci-fi novels like Snow Crash and Ready Player One. The term rose to prominence somewhere around the 2010s and had consecutively come under heavy criticism.

Metaverse is essentially a future version of the internet made of shared virtuality. This platform will often act as a form of social media. It can also be used as an umbrella term for the entire world of augmented reality, that is not simply limited to just the virtual worlds of various social media platforms. The elements of the metaverse cover a huge domain. This very fact makes this concept so different from the internet or the idea of the web as we know it today.  It includes video conferencing games like Minecraft or Roblox, emails, virtual reality, live streaming, and social media. This ever-expanding cyberspace indicates a “digital big bang”.

The first traces of the Metaverse could be as early as the 1990s the metaverse was a moot (a text-based, low-bandwidth virtual reality system) operated by Steve Jackson games as part of their bbs, Illuminati online. In the year 1998 – was created, wherein users appeared as avatars and could socialize and purchase objects and services using the virtual currency therebucks, which were purchasable with real-world money. closed on March 2, 2010, but reappeared in 2011 as an invite-only world to users age 18 or older.

The most significant step towards the path to metaverse was probably in the year 2019 when Facebook launched Facebook Horizon – A social VR world by Facebook. Horizon Worlds is a virtual reality, a multiplayer online video game with an integrated game creation system developed by Facebook now known as Meta Incorporated. It’s currently available for platforms like Microsoft Windows and Oculus Quest. Horizon Worlds is currently in an invite-only beta phase which uses the Unity engine.

Meta is now the parent company that owns Facebook, Whatsapp, and Instagram. The rebrand to Meta was announced by Zuckerberg at the company’s annual Connect conference. The name change in actuality is a statement by the CEO to cement the fact that his company is all about the metaverse- which he thinks is the future of the internet.  Zuckerberg sees this as baby steps in the direction of turning his company’s reputation from merely the social platform of Facebook to the giant possibilities of the metaverse. Zuckerberg had already started investing in his new idea for the company. In the year 2021 itself, he invested approximately 10 billion dollars into building a metaverse

Apple’s rumored new innovation

The Cupertino-based three trillion dollars, multinational technological giant, Apple Inc. has always been at the forefront of technological innovation. Keeping in pace with the ever-evolving world of gadgets, users of Apple were keenly waiting for the announcement of their new virtual reality-based headset, and gladly for enthusiasts, they weren’t disappointed.

Ming-Chi Kuo is a TF International Securities analyst known for his unconventional prediction of Apple products & moves almost over a year in advance using his supply chain sources. Apple Track gives him a 76% accuracy rating. In his recent note, Kuo confirmed Apple’s upcoming product to be a headset as he also provided explicit details about the same.

Among other sources confirming Apple’s new headset are portals such as The Information and Bloomberg. All of them claim Apple will release a headset as early as 2022 with high-resolution color cameras for mixed reality. Kuo previously claimed it will be priced at least $1000. In February last year, The Information claimed to have viewed images of a late-stage prototype of the upcoming product which apparently shows a sleek, curved visor attached to the face by a mesh material and the added bonus of swappable headbands.

Apple’s rumored upcoming headset will weigh 300-400 grams, and the second generation will be “significantly lighter”, according to a note from Ming-Chi Kuo. Last week another note from Kuo claims to have suggested that the headset will have dual 4K OLED microdisplays and a chip with M1 MacBook level performance.

Kuo estimates the first-generation model from Apple will sell around 3 million units in 2023, while the improved second generation which will arrive in late 2024 might be able to reach a market of 10 million. In contrast, Zukerberg’s Meta hasn’t revealed how many units Quest 2 has sold, but the face foam recall documents and comment from Qualcomm’s CEO suggest somewhere in the region of 5-10 million already.

But if Kuo’s reports to date are even semi-accurate Apple’s headset will be significantly lighter, more powerful, and higher resolution than Quest 2. For comparison, Quest 2 weighs around 500 grams while Apple’s headset will be 300-400grams. It will likely compete with Project Cambria instead which is rumored to be Meta’s own upcoming take on a lightweight high-end headset with color passthrough.

The headset won’t integrate into the playing field of the Metaverse

Recently, Bloomberg reporter Mark Gurman shed light on Apple’s approach to the so-called “metaverse”. The information was dropped in the paid edition of Gurman’s Apple and consumer tech newsletter for Bloomberg, named Power On. The newsletter includes a section for Q&A with Gurman, which led to one reader sending in a question about the metaverse and how Apple will approach it.

Gurman posted his full response on his Twitter account for those who aren’t paid, subscribers. Gurman has a long track record reporting accurately on Apple, so he is a pretty substantial takeaway. Gurman proclaimed his views here that the company’s leadership doesn’t seem to be interested in a “metaverse” akin to the groundwork being laid in efforts like Meta’s Horizon Worlds. Gurman goes as far as to suggest the idea of a “completely virtual world where users can escape to” is “off-limits from Apple.” He also made it clear that the company’s upcoming headset is expected to focus on “bursts” of gaming, content consumption, and communication above all else. Gurman suggests Apple is focusing on making a headset designed for short-burst use and not all day, as expected for users of headsets that integrate the metaverse. According to him, an eventual fully augmented reality headset is supposedly Apple’s “real priority.”

Gurman’s analysis is in line with public comments made by Apple CEO Tim Cook over the years. The 61-year-old business executive who has been at the helm of Apple Inc has clearly expressed his views on the importance of Augmented Reality(AR) over Virtual Reality(VR). He has also been noted to be saying, while AR will be as important to users as having three meals per day, VR won’t be as significant even though it will be of importance in other areas of the technological spectrum.

In other words, Apple plans on users spending more time looking at the real world around them than an Oculus Quest allows, lending some credence to Gurman’s prediction. Though we have yet to hear a firm “no” from Apple itself, the company’s stance, as described by Gurman, is quite self-explanatory. Hence, to some suspicious users, the metaverse seems to be a concept being pushed down consumers’ throats by most of the big tech giants who are making significant efforts to participate, owing to Zukerberg’s initial push.

Disclaimer: This information is covered based on the latest research and development available. However, it may not fully reflect all current aspects of the subject matter.

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