Metaverse, Virtual Reality, and Augmented Reality: Apple's and Meta's plans

Metaverse | 24/11/2023 |

In recent years, virtual and augmented reality technologies have made significant progress in terms of accessibility and adoption. While VR headsets and the concept of a "metaverse" (a virtual universe where people can interact and exchange data) have traditionally been associated with gamers and technology enthusiasts, AR headsets and other AR technologies are increasingly seen as tools for the mainstream consumer market.

In this article, we will explore the differences between VR and AR technologies and discuss the potential applications of these technologies for both niche and mainstream audiences through the Metaverse concept. We will also consider the role of QR Codes in the development of these technologies and how they are being used to create immersive and interactive experiences for users.

The First Popular Version of the Metaverse: Second Life

The Second Life interface was an early example of a metaverse platform, and it was one of the first virtual worlds to gain widespread popularity in the early 2000s. Created by Linden Lab, Second Life was a virtual world that allowed users to create and customize their own avatars, explore a variety of virtual environments, and interact with other users in real-time.

second life metaverse

Second Life Metaverse

Second Life was notable for its focus on user-generated content, with users able to create their own virtual objects, buildings, and even entire virtual worlds. While Second Life was initially popular with tech-savvy users and early adopters, it eventually gained a wider audience and was used for a variety of purposes, including education, business, and socializing. Despite its popularity at the time, Second Life has since declined in popularity, as newer and more advanced VR and AR technologies have emerged.

The Metaverse Trend

The concept of a "metaverse" - a virtual universe where people can interact and exchange data - has gained significant attention in recent years, particularly with the rebranding of Facebook as "Meta" in 2021.

Meta horizon metaverse

The Metaverse concept

The term "metaverse" was first coined in Neal Stephenson's 1992 science fiction novel "Snow Crash," but has since gained widespread usage to describe a wide range of virtual reality and augmented reality technologies. In the context of VR and AR, the metaverse refers to a virtual space where users can interact with each other and with virtual objects and experiences. While the concept of the metaverse has traditionally been associated with gaming and immersive virtual reality experiences, it is now being explored as a potential platform for a wide range of applications, including social networking, education, and commerce.

Facebook Meta Focuses on Immersive Gaming with the Meta Quest headsets

Following the rebranding of Facebook as "Meta," the company has focused on the development of immersive virtual reality experiences, particularly in the gaming space. One of the key products in this effort is the Meta Quest 2 headset, which allows users to access the Metaverse and experience a wide range of VR games and other immersive content.

Meta Quest 2, 3 and Pro are notable for their high-quality graphics and motion tracking capabilities, which allow for a more realistic and engaging VR experience. While these headsets were primarily marketed towards gamers, they are also being used for other purposes, such as education and training simulations.

Meta Quest 2, 3 and Pro

The Meta Quest 2, while an impressive VR device, has more limited AR capabilities compared to the newer Meta Quest 3 and Pro models. Its AR functionality is constrained, often displaying content only in black and white and at a lower quality. This is primarily due to the hardware limitations of the Meta Quest 2, which was designed with a focus on VR rather than AR.

On the other hand, the Meta Quest 3 and Pro models have made some improvements in this area. They include better sensors and processors that allow for a more advanced AR experience. In response to these technological advancements, adaptations have been made to the AR Code platform to fully support these Meta Quest headsets. This integration allows for the display of Meta Quest AR videos and Meta Quest 3D models in an immersive AR mode, enhancing the overall user experience by leveraging the capabilities of these newer Meta Quest models.

perseverance nasa 3d AR Code

Apple Vision Pro

Apple's upcoming AR headset, the Apple Vision Pro, could be the solution to the current limitations of VR headsets in accessing and displaying AR content. This headset is equipped with advanced sensors and processors specifically designed for AR experiences, and they are expected to be able to handle a wide range of AR content.

Apple Augmented Reality Headset

Design of the Apple Vision Pro Headset

In addition, the Apple Vision Pro Headset will be able to scan AR QR Codes to access and display 3D models and other AR experiences, making it easy for users to access and interact with AR content.

Nike Air Max Demo

AR QR Code

The Apple Vision Pro Headset is poised to become a major player in the AR market and could help drive the adoption of AR technology among mainstream consumers.

Some features of the Apple Vision Pro Headset:

  • High-resolution displays: 2 * 4K = 8K
  • Advanced eye-tracking technology
  • Hand gesture recognition and control
  • Advanced haptic feedback
  • Spatial audio
  • Integration with other Apple devices such as iPhones and iPads
  • ARKit and RealityKit frameworks for rendering
  • 12 pass-through and tracking cameras/Lidar scanners
  • Voice control and Siri integration

VR Headset Goal: Mass Market AR Glasses

The ultimate goal of VR headset technologies is to become augmented reality glasses that can be widely adopted by mainstream consumers, not just gamers. VR headsets have traditionally focused on providing immersive gaming experiences, but as AR technology has advanced, it has become clear that there is a much wider range of applications for AR beyond gaming.

Here is a list of released AR/VR Headsets:

  • Meta Quest 2, 3, and Pro
  • HTC Vive XR Elite
  • Sony PlayStation VR
  • Samsung Gear VR
  • Microsoft HoloLens 2
  • Pico 4 VR
  • Apple Vision Pro

AR glasses, in particular, have the potential to revolutionize the way we interact with technology and the world around us by overlaying virtual objects and information on top of the real world. Companies like Apple and Facebook, which are rumored to be working on AR glasses, are expected to bring these devices to market in the coming years and make AR technology more widely available to consumers.

The success of these AR glasses will depend on their ability to provide a wide range of AR experiences and be accessible to a broad audience, not just gamers.

Frequently asked questions

What are the differences between VR and AR technologies?

VR technologies create a fully immersive virtual environment, while AR technologies overlay virtual objects and information on top of the real world. AR is often seen as more accessible to mainstream audiences.

What is the Metaverse?

The Metaverse is a virtual universe where people can interact and exchange data. It has gained significant attention in recent years as a potential platform for a wide range of applications.

What are some popular examples of Metaverse platforms?

Second Life was one of the first virtual worlds to gain widespread popularity in the early 2000s. Facebook's Meta Horizon is a more recent example, focused on immersive gaming experiences.

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