This week, Apple unveiled its Vision Pro spatial computer. Attendees of the WWDC 2023 keynote who spent 30 minutes with the device said they were blown away. But one person that has been talking about the metaverse, augmented reality, and virtual reality for years – and investing a ton of money in its future – doesn’t seem phased by Apple’s introduction of the Vision Pro. It’s Mr. Mark Zuckerberg.
According to The Verge‘s Alex Heath, Mark Zuckerberg had a company-wide meeting with employees, and he said Apple didn’t present “any major breakthroughs in technology that Meta hadn’t already explored.” Um…
“I think that their announcement really showcases the difference in the values and the vision that our companies bring to this in a way that I think is really important,” Zuckerberg reportedly told employees. “By contrast, every demo that they showed was a person sitting on a couch by themself. I mean, that could be the vision of the future of computing, but like, it’s not the one that I want.”
Although Mark Zuckerberg seems rather confident regarding Apple’s Vision Pro, it was his company that rushed out the Quest 3 announcement days before Apple’s WWDC keynote, even though the device will not start shipping until later this fall.
In addition, Meta’s CEO also focused on the affordability of the Meta Quest headset compared to Apple’s spatial computer: “They went with a higher resolution display, and between that and all the technology they put in there to power it, it costs seven times more and now requires so much energy that now you need a battery and a wire attached to it to use it […] More importantly, our vision for the metaverse and presence is fundamentally social. It’s about people interacting in new ways and feeling closer in new ways. Our device is also about being active and doing things.”
But did Apple just unveil a higher-resolution display? I’d take another look at the featured image of this article before passing such harsh judgment.
Apple and Meta have a philosophical difference
Mark Zuckerberg was right about one thing. Indeed, there’s a “real philosophical difference in terms of how we’re approaching this.” While Zuckerberg calls its device a headset and he focuses on the metaverse, Apple avoided all these words. It didn’t call the Vision Pro a headset; neither says the experiences are on the metaverse. On the contrary, Apple’s CEO Tim Cook said this is the first device you look through, not at, and it can be fully adjustable between AR and VR experiences.
In addition, Tim Cook spent several minutes explaining how the device respects the user’s privacy, while Meta needs to collect data from its customers to sell ads and generate revenue. If Apple will succeed in the AR/VR market, it’s still unclear, but no one can deny that Meta needs the Cupertino firm to shine in this field so it can also prosper after years and billions of dollars thrown into R&D.