Apple apparently doesn’t want anything to do with tech’s most obnoxious buzzword—I’m referring, of course, to metaverse (a pass for guessing NFT).
Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman, a reliable Apple analyst, says the company’s upcoming AR headset will be designed for shorter activity sessions, not to fulfill the goal of the metaverse by leaving the real world behind for a digital Oasis.
“Here’s one word I’d be shocked to hear on stage when Apple announces its headset: metaverse,” Gurman wrote in his Power On newsletter. “I’ve been told pretty directly that the idea of a completely virtual world where users can escape to — like they can in Meta Platforms/Facebook’s vision of the future — is off limits from Apple.”
It sounds like Apple CEO Tim Cook won’t follow the lead of Facebook, er, Meta, and just about every other company that has chimed in recently to discuss the ways they can bring us closer to a poorly defined, ill-conceived future where the physical and digital world melt together via the use of VR, AR, and mixed reality.
Instead, Apple is said to debut a mixed AR/VR headset designed for “bursts of gaming, communication, and content consumption.” That is to say, it’s a device that lets you get back to the real world once you’re done playing a game or watching a movie.
We know Apple is more bullish on AR—where digital objects are projected over the physical world (see Pokémon Go) than VR—which replaces the physical world with a digital one (see Ready Player One), but the details of its forthcoming device remain shrouded in secrecy.
But we might know a few specifics. Based on a report from The Information, the headset will include two 8K displays, more than a dozen cameras for hand-tracking, and will retail for $3,000. The device could also run on multiple processors including one with the power of Apple’s M1 chip, according to trusted analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who also says the headset could support Wi-Fi 6E to offer higher bandwidth and low latency connectivity.
Apple will reportedly enter the VR/AR headset market later this year, and while key details about its upcoming product are unknown, it looks like we’ll at least be spared of any more “metaverse” talk.