The Metaverse Race: AR or VR?
How Apple and Google plan to expand into the metaverse.
Photo Source: Future via Tom’s Guide
Meta’s announcement of its metaverse not only boosted us into Web 3.0, but sparked an AR/VR race among the top tech companies. Although we have not seen direct entrances into the metaverse by Apple and Google, we have found hints of what their next steps forward may be.
Some signs show that Apple and Google have had plans in the works for a few years now, which may indicate that they were a step ahead of Meta, or at least have been making sure their products would be efficient enough to succeed. As witnessed with Meta, launch of its metaverse has shown the opposite effect, which we discussed in a previous piece.
Beyond low participation and tech mishaps, Meta seems to have taken a hit financially as well. Based on data in CoinGeek, “In Q3, Reality Labs, Meta’s metaverse division, only brought in $285 million while accounting for $4 billion in expenses.”
However, while Meta works on its metaverse, Apple has quietly been expanding its job base around mixed reality efforts. Job postings include engineers specializing in augmented reality, virtual reality, machine learning and computer vision.
While we don’t know about an Apple metaverse specifically, we have heard about an unofficially announced VR/AR headset in the works. According to Tom’s Guide, the headset is meant for short trips into VR, not necessarily a metaverse, and is intended for gaming, content viewing and communication.
Google has a few projects in the works. First, Project Starline is Google’s metaverse architecture, which creates 3D models of people in the metaverse. It is not available yet and will be tested to see how it strengthens ties with people around the world. Additionally, Google has partnered with Coinbase, which should allow “customers to take advantage of Google Cloud’s scalability, reliability, security and data services so that Web3 founders and developers can focus on innovation,” according to VentureBeat.
Google's second project in the works is Project Iris, which focuses on AR headsets, expected to release in 2024. According to Forbes, “Its device uses ‘outward-facing cameras to blend computer graphics with a video feed of the real world, creating a more immersive, mixed reality experience than existing AR glasses.’”
Overall, it appears that Google and Apple may be taking a more AR-based approach toward the metaverse, which may be strategic considering recent evaluation of the metaverse needing an underlying reason of use, which is not VR.
Ariana and the Don’t Count Us Out Yet Team