Why Apple’s mixed-reality headset can succeed where Google, Meta, and others failed

Apple is widely expected to debut a new mixed-reality headset (AR/VR) at its Worldwide Developer Conference in June, and it has reportedly already shown the device to its board of directors. There are multiple reasons why Apple’s mixed-reality headset why can succeed where Google, Meta, and others have failed.

Apple mixed-reality headset concept by Antonio DeRosa
Apple mixed-reality headset concept by Antonio DeRosa

Chris Neiger for The Motley Fool:

The device will likely focus on a niche or two, and Apple already has years of AR experience under its belt.

One aspect of Apple’s approach to introducing new technologies is that it’s not necessarily the first one to enter a new market — but when it does enter a new one, it’s traditionally very successful. Apple has had years to examine how Google went wrong with Glass and what is working or not working with other competitor headsets, like Meta Platform’s Quest headsets…

One of the main problems with Google Glass was that it tried to be all things to all people… It’s unlikely that Apple will repeat Google’s mistake. Instead, Apple will probably hone in on a few key features of the device that fit into specific niches. For example, Apple might focus on marketing it as a tool for gaming and communication. The company already has an extensive list of AR-based mobile games that developers may be eager to adapt for a headset experience. Additionally, sensors in the device could reportedly be used for VR-enhanced FaceTime calls…

And finally, when Google introduced Glass there wasn’t a lot of development of AR apps at the time. In contrast, Apple released its ARKit for developers back in 2017, and RealityKit in 2019. These two systems have given developers and companies years to play around with creating AR/VR apps for Apple’s iPhones and iPads, and it’s likely been a way for the company to see just how developers could potentially use a mixed-reality headset.

MacDailyNews Take: Earlier this year, Bloomberg News reported that Apple’s first mixed-reality device, likely to be dubbed the “Reality Pro,” will launch this year with an impressive array of new technology, including custom Apple Silicon, dual 4K displays, a flexible OLED screen on the front that shows the user’s eyes, and more than a dozen cameras that can analyze the wearer’s eye and other body movements along with the external environment.

Apple is reportedly focusing on immersive, interactive video content such as concerts and sports, tight integration with other Apple products (see: Apple headsets aim to seamlessly interact with your iPhone, iPad, and Mac), and advanced VR-based FaceTime calls.

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