Several tech giants have increasingly shown interest in exploring the metaverse in recent months, with Meta and Microsoft leading the way. Meanwhile, the maker of pricey gadgets, Apple, is also looking to step into this nascent space. As per the latest reports, the tech company’s first step toward its metaverse ambitions involves launching a mixed-reality headset to bridge the gap between the real world and virtual environments.
On Saturday, Bloomberg reported that Apple is planning to announce the release date of its headset during the firm’s annual Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) set to take place on Monday. Further, the news outlet claimed that the headset would be called ‘Reality Pro’ and priced between $2,500 and $3,000.
If that’s the case, Apple’s headset will cost more than twice the price of Meta’s Quest Pro, a mixed-reality headset that sells for $1,000. Notably, Meta is also looking to launch Quest 3, a cheaper headset offering a similar experience. The company made that announcement on Friday, prompting many to believe that Meta is trying to cool down the hype around Apple’s headset, which is already building up ahead of the official announcement tomorrow.
Apple’s Headset Features
A report by The Information has revealed that the upcoming Apple headset will have Micro oLED screens, displaying images in 8K resolution. In addition, the gadget will use an M2 processor, the same one used in Macbooks. It will also feature several sensors and cameras, giving the headset ability to recreate the user’s leg movements. Apple has included retina scanners to allow users to log in using biometrics.
Apple’s Metaverse Ambition
Apple understands that the metaverse is not limited to mixed-reality headsets. In its report, Bloomberg revealed that the tech giant is building a RealityOS operating system and a platform for gamers to explore various Web3 games. But it is unlikely that Apple will embrace the word “metaverse,” considering that the company’s CEO Tim Cook once said he isn’t a fan of the term. In 2022, Cook said Apple’s goal was to get people to understand what the firm was pursuing; therefore, using the word metaverse could cause confusion among average users.
Nonetheless, the CEO is optimistic about mixed reality technology. In a recent interview, he said that Augmented Reality (AR) will soon have a use case in every sector in the real world.
Will Apple Embrace the Web3 Interoperability Principle?
Web3 enthusiasts are advocating for those Web2 tech companies entering the metaverse to build their projects on open blockchains and allow the use of non-fungible tokens (NFTs), transferable from one platform to another. But there have been fears that most tech firms are only aiming to develop a centralized metaverse that they can control, a claim that Meta boss Mark Zuckerberg has constantly denied. In a recent interview, he assured Web3 developers that his company’s goal is to build an interoperable metaverse.
Meanwhile, Apple is popular for embracing closed ecosystems. That is evidenced by its App Store model, which restricts app developers from directing users to external payment platforms.
Another piece of evidence that suggests Apple will not let Web3 technology interrupt its highly profitable business model is that the company recently started allowing Web3 developers to sell NFTs via their iOS applications but charges a 30% fee for every sale.
That said, Apple may choose to develop a metaverse in a way that differs from Web3 enthusiasts’ expectations. But whether that model can survive in a space where many people are embracing open platforms remains to be seen.
It’s worth noting that despite seemingly taking a different approach to the metaverse, Apple is not an anti-crypto company. Many crypto exchanges have developed iOS applications that allow crypto users to spend their digital currencies from their iPhones. Moreover, Cook said last year that his firm was considering cryptocurrency and disclosed that he owns one. Apple’s website also lists job openings requiring interested candidates to have crypto experience.
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