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

Metaverse | Tuesday 28th of February 2023 07:15:45 AM |

In recent years, virtual and augmented reality (VR and AR) technologies have made significant strides 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 being 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 Metaverse 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 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 and Pro - AR Capabilities

Meta Quest headsets have made significant strides in the realm of virtual reality, but their ability to access and display augmented reality content is still limited. AR technology involves overlaying virtual objects and information on top of the real world, and it requires advanced sensors and processors to accurately track and display these objects in relation to the user's surroundings. While the Meta Quest 2 and Pro do have some AR capabilities, they are not fully optimized for AR experiences and are limited in the types of AR content that they can display.

meta quest pro passthrough AR

Meta Quest Pro AR Mode (Passthrough mode)

Apple Reality One and Pro

Apple Augmented Reality headset

An Imagined Design of an Apple Reality AR/VR Headset

Apple's upcoming AR headset, the Apple Reality One and Pro, could be the solution to the current limitations of VR headsets in accessing and displaying AR content. These headsets are rumored to be 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.

In addition, it is believed that the Apple Reality headsets 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 Reality headsets are poised to become major players in the AR market and could help to drive the adoption of AR technology among mainstream consumers.

Some speculated features for an Apple reality 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 been 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 and Pro
  • HTC Vive XR Elite
  • Sony PlayStation VR
  • Samsung Gear VR
  • Microsoft HoloLens 2
  • Pico 4 VR

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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