Redefining the Metaverse Experience with Apple Vision Pro
Apple’s recent launch of its Vision Pro headset has excited the tech industry, with many comparing it to Meta’s Quest 3 VR Headset and closely examining the differences that reflect Apple and Meta’s Metaverse strategies. In this blog, we delve into the details of Apple’s headset launch and its potential impact on the Metaverse landscape.
Apple vs. Meta: A clash of titans
The comparison between Apple’s Vision Pro and Meta’s Quest 3 unveils a fascinating clash between two industry powerhouses. Meta boasts its dominance as a platform company with influential platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp; Apple is the most successful hardware company the world has ever seen, from the Mac and the iPod to the iPhone and Watch. During WWDC, Apple’s annual conference used this year to launch the Vision Pro amongst other products, Disney’s CEO, Bog Iger hailed it as the “world’s most innovative technology company”. A huge claim, but when Apple can casually roll out the CEO of Disney to play a bit-part in a product launch, it’s hard to argue against.
During the Vision Pro launch event, Apple showcased a series of technical breakthroughs that impressed us. If the claims made about the headset’s performance hold true, Apple has once again demonstrated its unparalleled ability to push boundaries and provide users with a compelling reason to invest in their technology. The Vision Pro offers more than just advanced technology; it offers human connection, the ability to capture and relive memories through 3D recordings, seamless integration with content consumption (such as Disney+), and enhanced amplification of content without compromising the real-world experience. By placing a significant emphasis on augmented reality (AR), Apple is boldly betting on the future of the Metaverse.
A transformative experience
Tom Grogan, CEO of MDRx, shared his excitement about the Vision Pro launch, comparing it to the iconic moment when Steve Jobs introduced the iPhone in 2007. This signifies the potential impact Apple’s headset could have on the way we experience the Metaverse. For large established brands moving into this space, Apple’s keynote event gave us a glimpse of what the future will look like, and it is now incumbent on executives to engage with, understand and adapt to this future over time.
The Vision Pro’s price point positions it as a high-end product rather than a mass-market offering. However, this might just be the beginning, as Apple’s product naming conventions suggest the possibility of future entry-level models at lower price points. While the initial cost might deter recreational gamers and organisations from equipping entire teams with the Vision Pro, many will purchase despite the high cost, inspired by Apple’s mastery of product storytelling and the emotional drivers for using Vision Pro, from recording memories in 3D to immersing oneself in a fantasy world one loves. As technology evolves and production costs decrease, high-end corporate offices will embrace devices like Vision Pro to enhance collaboration and productivity.
Apple’s impact on the AR/VR sector
Apple’s development of xrOS, a distinct software platform tailored to support the Vision Pro headset, adds another layer of significance to their Metaverse entry. Known for their ability to seamlessly integrate hardware and software, Apple’s commitment to pushing technological boundaries is evident in the introduction of xrOS. The integration of FaceTime and iMessage during the launch event provides a glimpse into how Apple plans to unify their ecosystem and deliver a cohesive and immersive user experience.
We encourage our clients to critically assess whether they are “doing” Metaverse to enhance their brand, drive new revenues, or reduce costs. Brands and individuals should engage in thorough discussions, diligently assess advisors and engineering teams, and make informed decisions based on their specific goals and requirements before adopting a new technology. Hype is usually bad. Value is the important thing we must focus on.
A word on language: where is the Metaverse?
Apple carefully avoided using the word Metaverse at all during its presentation, in stark contrast to comparable launches from Meta and others. They instead referred to Vision Pro defining “spatial computing”.
Apple often avoids words associated with a lot of hype, preferring to define their own terms and avoid conflation with widely used and often poorly understood terms. In WWDC they also eschewed AI – the current darling of the Silicon Valley press circuit — and referred specifically instead to machine learning.
Pleasingly, the definition of the Metaverse we have pushed for years now aligns perfectly with Apple’s usage. The Metaverse is a blurring of previously entirely physical and digital experiences using technology. Our definition has always been quite different to the narrow proponents of virtual worlds, but whether you call it Metaverse or spatial computing, it is utterly inevitable.
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