It’s reported that Apple will release VR glasses this year, but they won’t be something you’re going to want to wear all day.
While the metaverse isn’t likely to have any significant impact on anyone’s life for a long time. If ever, it seems as if every tech company is afraid of missing out on Mark Zuckerberg’s virtual reality fantasy world. We will be living our lives in the digital world instead of the real world when everyone straps an Oculus Quest 2 to their faces.
It’s a no-brainer for tech companies to fall behind. The hot buzzword of the moment should not be missed at all costs.
Apple shows no interest in Metaverse
The exception is noteworthy, however. Bloomberg reports that Apple has no interest in becoming part of an immersive virtual world where people spend all their time doing everything from working to attending school to watching a movie with friends.
Bloomberg reports that Apple is not interested in Facebook’s vision for the future. Rather, Apple envisions augmented reality glasses that don’t “take people out of their reality.”
This matters because Apple has been widely reported to be developing a headset. Several analysts, including Gurman, have suggested that an initial model should ship by the end of the year.
Facebook at other’s mercy
The fact that Apple is technically lagging behind the handful of companies that already make headsets doesn’t mean that anything it introduces will be a flop. Zuckerberg’s dream is doomed to failure because Apple will dominate the market for augmented reality glasses.
This does not mean that its product is guaranteed a hit, but it’s one of the few companies that have the expertise, engineering expertise, and resources to construct something that consumers might actually want to buy. Facebook’s metaverse is not Apple’s cup of tea, as it should be.
With Apple’s release of iOS 14.5, developers were required to request consent before tracking users. The companies have been at odds over privacy for years. Facebook’s business model, which relies on showing users tailored ads based on the information it collects, has suffered severely.
Apple’s dominance, Zuckerberg’s frustration
Zuckerberg is so motivated to create the metaverse because he’s highly frustrated with Apple’s rules. The iPhone is the world’s most popular phone. Although there are other smartphones, most of which run the Android software, iPhones command the most attention.
That means that when it comes to what Facebook can do, as well as what information it can collect, Zuckerberg will be at the mercy of Apple (and Google). Zuckerberg and Facebook hope to build a platform that is not constrained by outside forces by building their metaverse.
Furthermore, Facebook’s pivot toward the metaverse–and even the name change to Meta–was primarily meant to dilute the harsh criticism and controversy it received after a series of scathing revelations. To some extent, it worked. Everyone wants access to a metaverse or Web 3.0, or whatever word you prefer to describe the vision of an internet where Zoom meetings are on steroids.
Apple’s version of Metaverse
The AR glasses in Apple’s version, however, are something you wear for specific reasons. When you get directions while driving, or while you work, you might wear them. The smartwatches you wear will not be worn all day, and they won’t do everything your phone does now. It would be devastating to Facebook if Apple were able to pull off its version. Nevertheless, that might actually be good news for the rest of us.