Apple continues putting the pieces in place for what many believe could be its next big product: an augmented or virtual reality viewer, aimed at reinventing a space that is still largely occupied by enthusiasts.
Faced with Meta’s $2 billion-plus purchase of Oculus VR in 2014 and its recent name change to reposition itself as the master of the metaverse, Apple has responded by steadily putting together hardware, software and content as it readies, perhaps this year, to launch its entry into that area. The idea being, believe it or not, to create the heir to its most successful product of all time: the iPhone.
Myriad rumors about the devices and their features, patents, and acquisitions of various companies in the field are beginning to create the classic halo of mystery that usually precedes the company’s major launches: a device probably connected to the iPhone, with elements ranging from a fabric finish or a fan to an eye-tracking system or iris recognition, weighing around 350 grams in its first iteration, using the MacBook Pro’s 96W charger, and probably coming it at around $2,000, with a processor with performance equivalent to that of its M1. But beyond leaks and rumors, the evidence that the company seems to be negotiating with people like Jon Favreau to create specific entertainment content for such a device, possibly with the idea of combining reality with projections, or that glasses attached to the eyes can generate a display equivalent to that of a very large screen.
What we need to remember in all this is the concept of reinventing things: Apple has a history of attracting people to products they weren’t previously interested in.
All the ingredients are there: a technology, both in its virtual and augmented versions, that many people know about or have tried, but that is still not widely used. What can Apple incorporate to achieve the killer application everyone is waiting for? Content will be important, but what other ingredients are needed? In short, How does Apple intend to reinvent the virtual and augmented reality arena?