Apple’s VR conference receives added excitement thanks to Meta

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    Facebook Chief Technology Officer Andrew Bosworth speaks to attendees at the MetaConnect event held at Meta Headquarters in Menlo Park, California on September 27, 2023.

    There was a lot of buzz surrounding Apple during Meta’s annual Connect conference, which focused on virtual reality and the Metaverse. Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced the Quest 3 VR headset, which will be available starting in October for $499. The company also highlighted the success of its VR app store, Quest Store, which has generated $2 billion in revenue since its launch in 2019.

    This year’s event was different from the previous one in 2022 as attendees had more information about Apple’s upcoming entry into the VR market. Apple announced his Vision Pro mixed reality headset in June. When it launches next year, the price will be $3,499. Apple’s reputation for premium consumer devices and superior hardware has generated excitement and interest in the company’s VR services.

    VR and mixed reality remain niche markets, but conversations with attendees at the MetaConnect event suggest growing optimism about their potential for expansion. Tom Simmons, CEO of his UK-based VR company Immerse, expressed curiosity about Apple’s entry into the market and praised the company’s ability to seamlessly integrate hardware and software.

    Before Apple’s announcement, the VR industry was facing an identity crisis, with investors pulling out and Web3 and cryptocurrency projects declining. Meta has suffered significant losses while investing in building Metaverse Vision, and some Wall Street investors are unhappy. But Apple’s entry into the market has breathed new life into Meta’s efforts.

    In addition to showcasing the Quest 3 VR headset, Meta also unveiled the latest version of Ray-Ban smart glasses co-developed with EssilorLuxottica. These glasses cost $299 and utilize Meta’s AI software to provide users with features such as landmark identification and sign translation.

    Aneesh Kulkarni, CTO of VR training company Strivr, emphasized the importance of Meta’s continued investment in moving the VR market forward. Even though the app store’s $2 billion in revenue is dwarfed by Apple’s marketplace, which generated $1.1 trillion in developer charges and revenue in 2022, Kulkarni said this is important for Meta. He emphasized the importance of numbers. Josette Seitz, a mixed reality developer at Baltu Technologies, said Apple’s existing customer base could contribute to the success of the Vision Pro headset, especially for businesses already using his Apple products. I pointed it out.

    Gaspar Ferreiro, a developer at VR company Coal Car Studios, called the Vision Pro’s price “insane,” but acknowledged that companies might invest in it given Apple’s reputation. But Meta still faces the challenge of making his VR mainstream, and Ferreiro wonders whether the Quest 3’s improvements over its predecessor will be enough to attract new customers outside the industry. Ta.

    Key improvements in Quest 3 include a “pass-through” feature that enhances the visual experience by overlaying digital visuals onto the physical world. This improvement will enable developers to create more engaging and visually appealing content that seamlessly integrates the physical and digital realms. Litesport VR CEO Jeffrey Moerin acknowledged that the Quest 3’s price is outside his comfort zone, but he sees the value of the improved passthrough for his company’s upcoming mixed reality apps. I recognized it. Morin also said that in the future he sees potential for Apple’s Vision Pro to be developed and expects the price to drop.

    Apple’s entry into the VR market caused excitement within the VR community, and an increase in the usage of VR apps was observed after Apple’s announcement. This move means VR is no longer just a side project for Facebook, but a significant industry development.


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