Merchant: Apple Vision Pro headset marks the end of the metaverse

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    Remember the Metaverse? So you are not alone.

    It seems like a faint memory now, but before AI mania swept Silicon Valley, everyone quickly put on headsets and logged into the “embodied internet” for conference calls and stand-up comedy. The notion that it would come to do something was central to the world of technology. Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg hit it off.

    But even at the peak of the hype cycle, polls have found that most Americans have never even heard the word “metaverse.” It didn’t take.

    It’s a similar thing for Apple, given that it’s currently aiming to wipe out the metaverse entirely.This week, the biggest tech giant Announcing Vision Pro, the $3,500 “spatial reality” headset, the first major new product in five years.It’s exorbitantly expensive: attendee at Apple’s developer conference Moaned loudly when cost was read out — and it’s still a big deal, given that fruit companies rarely venture into new territory unless they take the fight seriously.

    What is Apple’s pitch?This may be virtual reality, but it can be anything but metaverse.This is a completely new technology you, consumers can enjoy within Apple’s famous walled gardens. The demo involved watching a giant virtual movie screen in your living room and disappearing into a beautiful simulated natural environment. It’s a high-tech home theater for your face. Unlike other headsets, there are no handheld controllers. Navigate the digital world by looking at objects of interest and pinching your fingers. You are immersed, you are having fun, but you are very lonely.

    In fact, Apple’s foray into headset computing anti-metaverse — For better or worse.

    Not only did Apple CEO Tim Cook and other executives never mention the word “metaverse,” their vision of how headset-based computing could thrive was 3D. It was a heresy to Zuckerberg’s dream of a connected digital world filled with avatars. games and collaboration.

    Considering how spectacularly and completely Facebook’s metaverse ambitions have been thwarted and burned out, this should come as no shock.

    Now, in theory, you can see the appeal of the metaverse industry. Why was Zuckerberg so fascinated by the idea, and why he turned a profit in world history, in a story that will go down as one of the greatest ‘put the cart before the horse’ stories in the history of technology? renamed its own company to Meta, and it would cost tens of billions of dollars to do so.

    It’s a little vague now, but the metaverse’s key promise was that we wouldn’t be browsing the web.Married experience that.and that we experience other residents Metaverse virtual office mates, professional duelists, friends and family were always right at your doorstep in an extended hallway. Facebook’s launch demo was so sporadic that when it ended, no one was quite sure how it would work.

    Perhaps this explains why they didn’t. In fact, the circus left town before anyone pitched their tents down. Despite the relentless hype by Zuckerberg and venture capital evangelists, no one really came to Meta’s main metaverse attraction, leaving a digital ghost town instead.

    Firms rushing to appoint Metaverse Chief Executive in 2021 quietly disbanded the department By 2023. Despite relentless promotion and tens of billions of dollars of investment, he is the only one in five Americans who can make it. Correctly identify terms.another poll It turns out that more people who know what it is are more afraid of what it brings to society than are excited about it. It turns out that no amount of weird 2000s-style his Wii graphics featuring Zuckerberg and the Eiffel Tower can change this situation.

    Now back to Apple. Why would the undisputed king of hardware want to enter this space in the first place?

    It’s not just about sunk costs — Apple Killed a costly in-house project Before shipping an unpopular and potentially unsuccessful product. Apple must truly believe that there is a future for headset computing, and that it looks nothing like the metaverse’s failed fantasies so far.

    I am Professor of Media and Public Relations at George Washington University and I am future, now, pasthas paid special attention to the development of headset technology.

    “I’m lost about this headset,” he told me. “In the short term, I don’t think there is a better product than the Oculus/Meta Quest. There simply isn’t much to do.” do It comes with Apple goggles and at a price of $3,500, not many people would buy it just to play around with it. Still, while he expects the Vision Pro to fail initially, he believes its technological advances may prove important in a decade’s time.

    The Vision Pro reviews reflect exactly this point, being positive in terms of specs but mixed in terms of application. Praised by Nilay Patel of The Verge Next-level resolution and computing power, a seamless experience, but it still left me wondering what it was for. “The most perfect headset demo reel ever is still just a headset demo reel,” he wrote.

    The big question remains, what do most people actually want to do with their virtual reality headsets?

    For Meta, there was at least one answer. It’s “playing games”. Gaming remains a major driver of VR technology and is the only widely proven use case to date. Millions of users play games like ‘Beat Saber’ and ‘No Man’s Sky’. That’s millions more users hanging out in Meta’s Horizon room.

    By the way, it was probably the game that Zuckerberg thought the metaverse might work for. “Roblox,” “Fortnite,” and “Second Life” are essentially 2D metaverses.And the only thing stopping meta from unleashing its virtual reality ambitions is gaming. completely. Games, in particular, are social, or at least parasocial.

    But shipping without a controller is an admission that Apple isn’t interested in tackling that market. It’s all about watching movies, running meditation apps, and doing design work in augmented reality. The least attractive feature is that the user can FaceTime him with an uncanny valley avatar on the user’s face. This is the only time the user actually gets. outside Part of Apple’s spatial enclosure. There may be some programs that are attractive and appealing, but you’ll experience them for yourself, based on Apple’s terms.

    These are two very different visions for the future of headset computing. In fact, they are almost polar opposites. Meta’s ambition was, in theory, a wild, interconnected world where other tech companies would build a metaverse space that bisected them. It was supposed to be a digital alternate reality, a world of infinite possibilities.

    The problem is that Facebook, a company notorious for collecting personal data, selling it to advertisers, and spreading harmful misinformation on its platform, is in a position to keep such a world alive. I never believed it. The vision quickly solidified, and the terrible graphics and embarrassing demos only hastened its demise.

    Apple’s approach seems to be a more restrained one. With familiar apps and gestures, he bridges the gap between iPhone and spatial reality.Still, I don’t know about you, but when I first saw vision pro commercialIt depresses me to see people disappearing from their faces on planes, in living rooms, in kitchens with their kids, into fully immersive computers. The contents of that computer, being Apple, are known to be closely vetted and controlled.

    We might try to guess what Apple’s anti-metaverse might look like by pulling out our phones right now, looking at apps, and imagining being physically present in them. not. Disney+ might be fun for a while, but so are photos and movies. As for the rest, we’re pretty much done, thanks. In fact, I can’t imagine I’m the only one, but I’d rather not. No more disappearing inside my phone.

    It was always assumed that this kind of immersive digital world, whether closed or open, was going to attract attention. dystopian thinkingwhich derives from cyberpunk fiction, premises the notion that real-world conditions are so bad that the user must completely abandon real life and escape to a poorer-rendered simulacrum. increase.

    That’s exactly why Karpf thinks “computers you wear on your face” might have a future. “If the world keeps getting worse, this will eventually have a big appeal,” he says.

    If Apple’s vision wins, the concern is that we’ll all be sinking into cyberpunk home theater goggles and consuming content while the world is on fire. If you want the metaverse, that’s enough.


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