The Metaverse is already one of the trending topics for 2022. While Meta and Microsoft are making big plans, Apple is distancing itself.
The hype surrounding the Metaverse is only just beginning when a big tech player is already turning away. At least Apple lets it be known that the company isn’t aiming for a Metaverse integration with its own new mixed reality headset either. The vision of Meta and the Facebook platform is not shared.
A virtual world from which escaping is “forbidden” for Apple
Apple’s current position on the Metaverse is shared by Mark Gurman, journalist and Apple and technology expert for Bloomberg. Gurman says in his newsletter that he has information from people within the company regarding the possible connection between the new headset and the Metaverse. Thus he writes:
Here’s a word I’d be shocked to hear on stage when Apple announces its headphones: metaverse. I was told quite directly that the idea of a completely virtual world where users can escape – as they can in the Meta Platforms/Facebook vision of the future – is banned by Apple.
On the contrary, Apple’s new headphones – MacRomours, among others, had reported on the imminent launch – are suitable for gaming, consuming content or communicating for short periods of time. But it should be the user do not of their “true”, natural environment.
Lots of interest in my take on “Apple Reality” and the Metaverse https://t.co/ZmacFcOC9k pic.twitter.com/C4SNbFbULp
—Mark Gurman (@markgurman) January 9, 2022
With this, Apple would like to further integrate the unreleased headset into everyday reality. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean an outright no to the company’s future plans for the Metaverse. In the months and years to come, this should become at least a buzzword for the whole digital market, but perhaps also an area full of potential.
The metaverse: the successor to the mobile Internet?
Ever since Facebook was renamed Meta, everyone in the digital industry is talking about the Metaverse. After all, Mark Zuckerberg’s band deliberately chose the name so “it could be seen as a metaverse company” and to highlight the possibilities “beyond” social media. On the Meta Blog it was said about the new direction in the fall of 2021 that the Metaverse would become:
[…] to be a social, virtual 3D experience where you can share experiences with other people without being together in person – and do things together that you couldn’t do in the physical world.
The experiences should become more immersive, the augmented and virtual reality spaces of the group more complete.
The metaverse is the next evolution of social connection. It is a collective project that will be created by people from all over the world and open to everyone. You will be able to socialize, learn, collaborate and play in a way that goes beyond what is possible today. pic.twitter.com/655yFRm8yZ
— Meta (@Meta) October 28, 2021
Many industry experts are anticipating the next big change in the Metaverse digital space. After the transition from desktop to mobile, that of mobile to the metaverse could now follow. Tino KrauseCountry Director DACH at Meta, explains to OnlineMarketing.de:
Our vision is that the metaverse will be the successor to the mobile internet. With its networked digital spaces, it is full of possibilities beyond the physical world – a social experience. It is not a question of replacing real contact between people, but of significantly improving it over long distances, whether in a private or professional capacity. We cannot and will not develop the metaverse alone. Companies, organizations, creators and developers play a central role in its construction; as well as the continued experimentation with revolutionary technologies such as augmented and virtual reality. A concept for the next 10 to 15 years, which I await with impatience and enthusiasm.
Microsoft also has plans
Unlike Apple, technology company Microsoft has already presented concrete ideas for Metaverse integrations. CEO Satya Nadella explained his vision for the metaverse:
When we talk about metaverse, we are describing both a new platform and a new type of application, similar to how we talked about the web and websites in the early 90s.
This year – even in the first half of 2022 – Microsoft avatars are to be deployed, with which people can implement employment-oriented cooperation in the digital space via the new Mesh platform. With the help of AI, users’ language is interpreted and translated into gestures and facial expressions of avatars. These animations should be used wisely, especially in immersive 3D meetings. Microsoft already offers a grand vision of the workplace of the future.
An App Annie survey of app downloads in the US on Christmas Day highlights just how great user interest in new AR and VR possibilities and the metaverse is. As a result, the Oculus app topped the download charts that day – ahead of YouTube, TikTok and Co. Oculus is also owned by the Meta group and sells VR and AR headsets and related software; the name Oculus 2022 will be changed and the products will also be marketed under Meta. The download frequency suggests that Oculus devices were often given as gifts around Christmas in the United States.
The first traces of the metaverse are already clearly visible in the digital landscape.
— Meta (@Meta) October 30, 2021
And sooner or later, Apple may also decide to participate in this development. For the moment, however, Meta dominates the discourse, not least because of the new name – at least as far as platforms are concerned.