The future, more immersive vision of the internet with possible real-world ties is called the Metaverse, and tech giants see enormous opportunities. Meta, a Facebook subsidiary, has placed a large bet on the chance, as evidenced by its rebranding. In contrast, Microsoft has taken two approaches to gain traction in the sector: partnering with Meta and attempting to acquire a major game publisher (subject to FTC approval).
What about Apple?
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Apple’s Metaverse aims to unite the digital and physical worlds through various means, including novel processing algorithms, immersive technologies, and more. The firm has developed a “Reality Kit” for rapid 3D object customization to facilitate this.
Apple in Metaverse
Apple is well-known for its unconventional approach to product design, which extends to both its hardware and software (as evidenced by the iPhone and Mac) and advertising (via the slogan “Think Different”). They could again go its way as the Metaverse takes shape through new hardware and online worlds, some of which will be built with interoperable Web3 technology like NFTs.
According to rumors, Apple will launch its foray into the Metaverse with a high-priced headset designed to merge the worlds of virtual reality and the real world through the power of digital technology. Apple may not have created its own “Metaverse.” Still, its use of Metaverse-related technologies is often called “Apple’s Metaverse.” Apple CEO Tim Cook has spoken highly of the company’s efforts to implement augmented reality, which would allow for the fusion of 3D virtual objects and physical settings.
What is the Apple Building?
The tech press has followed Apple’s rumored augmented reality (AR) efforts since at least 2015. Recent rumors have it that Apple will first release a high-end mixed reality headset combining VR and AR features, with additional AR-specific hardware to follow in the future.
The company has guaranteed compatibility with all modern augmented reality (AR) devices. An AR/VR headset is rumored to be released in 2023 as a precursor to a much more stylish version of AR glasses that is expected to be released in late 2024.
With Apple’s “Reality Kit,” developers and augmented reality fans can add to the rich selection of apps available in the iOS App Store. Users can use augmented reality (AR) creation tools to create unique experiences and earn money from their work.
Also Read: Is Google building a metaverse?
How Does Apple’s Cutting-Edge Technology Drive the Metaverse?
Apple’s primary focus for the past few decades has been to employ innovative technologies to produce high-quality, high-value products that live up to the company’s reputation for style and sophistication. As we have already established, all Apple’s current devices support augmented reality. Apple’s tech stack may very well include the following components, which could play a significant role in the establishment of the firm’s Metaverse:
Wearable AR Devices
To further close the gap between the virtual and physical worlds, Apple plans to release an augmented reality headset in late 2023. The headset will undoubtedly have numerous features, including high resolution, 3D audio, and the ability to use augmented reality apps from the iOS app store.
Sensors, Cameras, and Artificial Intelligence
Apple’s metaverse products superimpose digital content onto the real world with the help of cameras, motion detectors, and advanced in-built image processing algorithms.
AR Quick Look
With AR Quick Look, customers can see how items will look in their homes before purchasing. Companies can take advantage of this by making their websites more universally accessible. With Apple’s Metaverse, customers could virtually try out new office lighting before purchasing.
Apple’s LiDAR can measure depths up to 5 meters deep. This is crucial for enabling processing algorithms to comprehend their surroundings, which is necessary for accurately projecting virtual objects in the Apple metaverse. LiDAR technology can produce a truly immersive experience when combined with motion sensors and cameras.
GPUs and 3D Modeling
The powerful A12Z Octa-core GPU in most recent models makes 3D modeling a breeze. This is crucial in helping cameras and sensors establish the scene geometry.
Apple has released several AR-creation tools to encourage users to build their augmented reality (AR) apps and experiences and distribute them through the iOS app store. Users can also use the platform’s extensive learning resources, including interactive videos, guidelines, and more, to get a head start on mastering the creative platform.
Compatibility With iOS
The best part is that they have ensured direct compatibility with iOS, so users aren’t restricted to just a few apps for experiencing AR. Apple’s Messages, Safari, Files, and more offer users a taste of the “metaverse.” This is accomplished with the help of Apple’s augmented reality Quick Look features.
Gaining Exposure to the Metaverse
There has been excessive scepticism about the Metaverse over the past year. After 2021’s Metaverse, virtual reality (VR), and cryptocurrency mania, we’ve reached a point where most investors see no financial upside. Taking Zuckerberg as an example, people criticize him heavily for going down this road.
We will begin interacting with the world in new ways, and many of our digital experiences will take on a new and improved form. This may be a ways off from digital real estate and virtual vacations, but the idea is exciting.
Technavio predicts that by 2025, the augmented reality and virtual reality market will be worth $165 billion, expanding at a compound annual growth rate of 46% from 2017 to 2025. Consider also that the Oculus app was one of the most downloaded in 2016 and that Meta has sold over $15 million units of the Oculus 2.
Apple would be able to sell more than 15 million units of a product that could compete with the Oculus 2, given the company’s established reputation for quality.
Since Apple’s main business is selling hardware, making an AR/VR headset is a logical step for the company. That’s why it’s a step up from the iPhone. Of course, the software is also crucial to the success of AR/VR, which is why Apple is presumably working on a reality operating system.
Now that tech giant Apple has entered the fray, anticipation for the Metaverse has reached a fever pitch. Decetraland (MANA-USD) and Sandbox (SAND-USD), two cryptocurrencies associated with the Metaverse, have recently seen respective price increases of 80% and 40%. If the cryptocurrency market can experience a new bull run, the metaverse narrative may serve as a major bullish force for these digital assets.
Apple’s Metaverse Trademarks
Apple’s Metaverse is still in development. The company is probably trying to perfect its Metaverse deployments before going out with new gadgets. Their recent trademark applications suggest they are actively seeking names for forthcoming headphones. There have been rumors of trademark applications for various names for the headset itself, having been filed in numerous countries, including Canada, the European Union, the United Kingdom, the United States, Saudi Arabia, and New Zealand.
Supposedly, Apple is selling virtual reality headsets under the names “Reality Pro,” “Reality Processor,” and “Reality One.” People assume that Apple is behind these filings because Apple has previously used the same shell company (Immersive Health Solutions, LLC) to secure trademarks on similar concepts. At this time, the company has made no official comment.
Apple’s Mobile AR
Mobile augmented reality technology may provide a different level of interactivity than the dedicated head- and eyewear. However, some truly remarkable things have been accomplished by developers using iOS. You may use a prototype of Apple’s virtual world as you read this. There are currently hundreds of augmented reality apps available in the App Store.
AR Glasses by Apple
Apple is investing significant time and resources to develop its augmented reality (AR) glasses and virtual reality (VR) headsets. Apple’s augmented reality glasses will feature Sony’s 1280 x 960 OLED microdisplays. That’s the visual equivalent of a tiny laptop, but it’s housed in a frame more like a pair of reading glasses or corrective lenses.
Apple’s Mixed Reality Hardware
The rumored Apple VR headset would have augmented reality capabilities as well. This emphasis on bridging the gap between the two worlds suggests they are working on creating interactive MR hardware to create fully immersive experiences. Apple’s focus on the mass market should result in significantly lower prices for these headsets than Microsoft’s Hololens2.
Where Is Apple Heading with its Metaverse?
Apple aims to create seamless communication by fusing the digital and real worlds. Using AR hardware and their own AR Reality Kit, they’ve been putting a lot of effort into augmented reality and its applications.
To paraphrase Tim Cook’s statement, “the Metaverse isn’t the future,” at least not how Meta is marketing it. If you ask Tim, most people need some explanation of the Metaverse. That’s why developing entry-level tools like augmented reality is important to get people excited about this vast digital world.