Some of the largest tech companies are investing heavily into the metaverse, even as metaverse interest temporarily wanes. However, one of the biggest tech companies, Apple, has taken a different approach to the metaverse. While companies like Microsoft and Meta are investing heavily in virtual environments and VR headsets, Apple is leveraging its existing user base for AR, specifically with the iPad and iPhone.
While many think the metaverse only involves VR headsets, avatars, and gaming, augmented reality is very viable (and arguably more proven) way to enter into the new metaverse.
How is Apple Investing in the Metaverse?
Metaverse technology is primarily thought of as virtual reality headsets and digital worlds. Meta has Meta Horizons, Microsoft has Microsoft Mesh, and there are countless new video games being launched that have their own Metaverses. However, Apple’s approach to the Metaverse is different.
For Apple, the Metaverse lies in Augmented Reality, not Virtual Reality. Apple is already one of the leading tech creators for AR hardware and software, so it makes sense to stay within this realm.
Apple’s products are designed on the premise that it is easy to use and integrates well into the existing Apple ecosystem. Airpods seamlessly connect to both iPhone and iMac alike, iPhones and iPads synergize, and even products like AirTags have become part of the Apple ecosystem. This translates into their metaverse strategy.
Apple does not plan on heavily investing in virtual worlds or avatars, as it sees much of that technology as clunky still. However, the phone maker has already made leaps and bounds into the Augmented Reality sector.
Augmented Reality Software
Apple’s biggest advantage when it comes to the Metaverse is its Augmented Reality software. A software development kit (SDK) is a package that has all of the tools and software needed to create certain apps. In Apple’s SDK, there is already a whole library of AR code that can be used natively within apps.
For developers, Apple lives and breathes by the simplicity and ease of use motto- with its natively built tools any app developer can begin implementing Augmented Reality into their apps.
Apple Metaverse Leaks- A Virtual Reality Headset?
While nothing has officially been announced yet, there are many rumors surrounding Apple and an AR/VR Headset. First talked about with China Daily, Tim Cook has hinted at the launch of a headset for some months now.
The Apple VR headset, which is reportedly launching in January 2023, could be a game changer for the Virtual Reality space. As mentioned above, Apple is known for its well engineered products, and a well-polished headset would be great competition for the likes of Meta and Google.
There are also rumors that there will not only be a Virtual Reality headset, but also upcoming AR lenses called “Apple Glass”. These glasses would be lightweight, and look like an ordinary pair of glasses. However, there would be Augmented Reality capabilities, with exterior cameras and sensors.
Apple is not the first company to experiment with an AR glasses. Google Glass has been around for some time, and even company’s like Snapchat have tried their hand with their newest version of Spectacles.
No matter which route Apple takes, it seems it is only a matter of time before the tech giant dives into the metaverse.