At the latest Wall Street Journal conference in Laguna Beach, California, Apple and Snap Inc. executives slammed the concept of the metaverse and reiterated that Augmented Reality (AR) is the future of computing.
When CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced the rebranding of his company Facebook to “Meta”, he also laid out the company’s plans to develop Virtual Reality headset to transport users into a metaverse where their avatars will be able to socialize, do commerce, get an education, and much more. Much like the experience, Fornite offers its players.
Since then, the “metaverse” has been the center of several discussions in the tech industry.
Ahead of the launch of their own mixed reality devices, Apple and Snap Inc. reject the idea of metaverse
Founder and CEO of Snap Inc., Evan Spiegel “rubbished” the idea of people living in a metaverse. He said people prefer a light touch with the virtual world through augmented reality delivered through phones and AR glasses. Bloomberg reports:
Augmented reality, which broadly speaking superimposes digital info on the real world, lets people harness computing power without forcing them to rely on a single screen, Spiegel said. Unlike a VR headset, the combination of phones and augmented glasses is “more immersive.”
“The metaverse is ‘living inside of a computer.’ The last thing I want to do when I get home from work during a long day is live inside of a computer,” Spiegel told the WSJ Live conference in Laguna Beach, California. “There is a clear fork in the road between VR and AR.”
At the same event, Apple head of marketing Greg Joswiak expressed similar thoughts on metaverse; he categorically said that he would never use that word.
Previously, Niantic CEO John Hanke also said that AR tech has the potential to make the world a better place by offering users the opportunity to do more than just play games, it will let them make their surroundings pleasant and enjoyable. However, displeased with the concept of the metaverse, he said creating a completely digital matrix “metaverse” would be his dystopian nightmare.
Referring to life during COVID-19 lockdown and social distancing, Hanke expressed that its human nature to be outdoors and socialize and the absence of those elements creates anxiety and depression. Thus, he completely rejected Facebook’s (now called Meta) concept of metaverse because “it takes us away from what fundamentally makes us happy as human beings.”
Reportedly, Snap Inc. is working on new AR spectacles that will allow users to overlay its filters and lens on top of the real world, in realtime. The company has already released three iterations of Spectacles.
Apple is allegedly developing a mixed-reality headset that combines AR and VR tech to enhance users’ gaming, viewing, and communicating experiences. The AR/VR headset is expected to launch in early 2023.
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