AR glasses are not the entrance to Apple’s Metaverse.
It is the most attractive product that is “exposed”. I believe anyone who has followed Apple’s hardware news understands this truth. Closer to say, there are Apple’s “coming soon” iPhone SE 3 and M2 chips, and farther, there are “folding screen iPad” and the so-called “Apple Car”. Here I even boldly predict that if there is a day when the “Apple Car” is released in the future, the heat after the release may not be as much as when it was sneaked away before the release.
However, unlike Apple Car, which is just a product every year, there is such a product that has been ready to be released after years of precipitation, and even Apple has specifically recruited for it, as if at a short press conference, we can See this “one more thing”. That’s right, what I want to talk about here is the “Apple AR glasses” that is mature and will be released soon.
According to reports, Andrea Schubert, the person in charge of AR (augmented reality) project promotion and public relations at Meta, has recently joined Apple. According to media speculation, Apple’s “digging” is likely to be Apple’s advance preparation for the release of AR glasses next year.
Apple’s layout in the AR field
The argument that Apple wants to launch AR glasses has been popular since 2010. Since then, Apple has continued to acquire technologies and companies related to VR and AR. Considering that Apple used to invest in or directly acquire companies that hold key technologies for its products, there were rumors that Apple was about to enter the VR industry.But what is surprising is that for a long time in the future, Apple has not done much in the VR field.
It was not until 2018 that Apple spent a lot of time demonstrating Apple’s efforts in AR and ARKit’s performance at the autumn mobile phone conference, and everyone realized that Apple’s focus has never been on VR, and AR is Apple’s more promising future. At the same time that a large number of Internet companies began to work in the field of mixed reality (MR) around 2018, rumors about Apple’s AR glasses have become more and more popular. A staff transfer some time ago brought Apple AR glasses to the center of the discussion once again.
After all, Oculus has many years of research and rich hardware achievements in the VR and AR fields. Coupled with the massive user data obtained by Meta, Oculus’ influence in the VR field has even surpassed the former VR leader HTC and has become The de facto vane of the VR industry.
In addition, Meta has decided to use Metaverse as the company’s future development goals, and VR and AR are widely used in Metaverse. Therefore, digging people from Meta should be a good move for Apple to achieve two goals with one stone.
Three fires for new officials
But in my opinion, this is not the case.
Apple poached people from Meta’s AR group, naturally to help Apple’s own AR products. But the problem is that it is not the person in charge of hardware or software that is dug this time, but the person in charge of external communication of the Meta AR group, or the person in charge of the PR team. Can such an approach really help Apple improve the hardware or software of AR products?
The person in charge of PR is dug from Meta, and I believe that Apple is more concerned about product announcements and product positioning. In the past few decades, Apple has extremely rich experience in “digging people”. The companies involved can be said to be diverse, from Pepsi to Hewlett-Packard to Burberry. From this perspective, Apple’s hiring of the head of public relations for AR hardware from Oculus is really not necessarily to solve the technical problems of Apple’s AR glasses.
So the question also comes. Since Apple may not be digging for technology, what exactly is it for? Can’t it be the corporate atmosphere of Meta? If we look back at Apple’s changes after these executives joined Apple, it is not difficult to find that the significance of these executives to Apple does not stop at the hardware level.
For example, once Burberry CEO Angela Ahrendts (Angela Ahrendts), after joining Apple, is responsible for retail and online stores, which is the legendary Apple’s “most valuable product”-Apple Store. After joining Apple, Angela started the process of Apple Store transformation. With the help of experience in the field of luxury accessories, the Apple Store changed from the former Apple showroom to a city center-a place where the public can enter the store at any time and participate in public events.
In addition, after joining Apple, Cook, who was born in the supply chain, gave play to his strengths and raised Apple’s control and voice over the supply chain to an unprecedented level. Apple’s digital marketing director dug from Nike also opened a brand new online digital marketing model for Apple, allowing Apple to transform from technological digital hardware to humanistic essentials. Don’t forget that some people blame the early “luxury” achievements of Apple Watch on those executives who joined Apple from Burberry. It can be seen that Apple digs people from other companies and values the influence of these executives on product positioning, strategy, and even brand image more than technology.
Based on the above point of view, we can also speculate on the future positioning and strategy of Apple AR glasses from existing Oculus products. First of all, whether from the perspective of Oculus or Apple, as the brand’s first independent AR glasses, Apple AR glasses are likely to follow the Oculus Quest 2 to follow the public route, and strive to expand their product coverage, just like the AirPods strategy Also let more users choose their own products.
Secondly, Apple’s AR devices are likely to replace AirPods, Mac mini and iPad, and become an anchor point for attracting users into Apple’s ecosystem. In other words, Apple is very likely to be like Oculus, with a rich application ecosystem as its core competitiveness.
When the iPhone 8 was just released, Apple launched its own ARKit development kit and announced that “Apple has the world’s largest AR platform-iPhone.” In the future, Apple’s AR glasses should continue Apple’s ARKit, with the existing ecological foundation to complete the hot start of AR glasses, using iPhone to drive AR glasses, and then using AR glasses to drive Apple’s content ecology. So as to achieve complete control of AR hardware, AR software and AR content.
But then again, even if Apple digs people from Meta, from the existing news, I don’t think that Apple’s AR devices will become the entrance to Apple’s “Metaverse”. Or put it this way: I don’t think Apple’s AR glasses are directly related to Metaverse.
Apple “don’t do” Metaverse
In previous interviews, Cook has always had great expectations for the future of AR technology, and he bluntly said that AR devices will be Apple’s epoch-making products in the next decade. Both inside and outside of the story, the future AR devices will replace the iPhone. the meaning of.
It is not an easy task to replace the iPhone. First of all, the price must be as equal as possible to the iPhone, or at least not higher than the starting price of the Pro series, otherwise it will be unaffordable for most users. s price. In addition, the future AR device must be easier to carry for a long time and have a longer battery life, otherwise it will still be an expensive “toy”.
The second is that it needs to be able to benchmark the iPhone in terms of function, and it has obvious advantages in the face of the iPhone. In this regard, it needs to look at the future development of Apple’s AR ecosystem. Although Apple does have obvious advantages in the mobile AR ecosystem, most of them are concentrated in areas such as entertainment and education, and applications in areas such as productivity and daily life are still weak.
In other words, as long as there is no sudden technological breakthrough in the battery industry, Apple’s AR glasses will lack the technical foundation as the entrance to the Metaverse for a long time in the future. The responsibility of the entrance to the parallel universe is more likely to be performed by the iPhone or iPad.
In addition, Apple’s view of the Metaverse also indicates that AR glasses will not become the entrance to the Apple Metaverse. Cook once said, “I think that Apple’s AR device is not equivalent to the’Apple Metaverse.’ Our original intention is only to build an’AR device’, not a’metacosmic’ derived from the Apple ecology.” For Apple, instead of closing the real world with AR technology, it is better to really amplify the value of technology to people.
Of course, before Apple actually releases AR glasses, all of this is still on paper. Apple AR glasses may become the next AirPods to change everyone’s perception of glasses, or it may become the next AirPower to disappear in the long river of history. But it is foreseeable that through Apple’s AR glasses, we can see Apple’s reflection on hardware and Apple’s exploration of the future.
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