Technology Apple casts huge shadow over the XR industry |...

Apple casts huge shadow over the XR industry | The Dean Beat


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At this week’s Augmented World Expo, the public was back at one of the major Silicon Valley events where the cognoscenti of the metaverse, gaming, and XR industries gather each year. They talked about the openness of their platforms and their hopes for shared prosperity in the future.

Thousands of people crowded the more than 3,000 booths at the event that signaled that the $38 billion XR industry (according to Artillery Intelligence) is back on its feet after years of bumpy growth and naysayers who said it would never reach the mass market .

But behind the noise of the crowd, I couldn’t help but notice a quiet desperation as well. Let’s hope this isn’t the last stand for the onslaught of the greatest walled garden. Apple is coming. The long-anticipated entry into the mixed reality headset market may happen as early as Monday at Apple’s Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC) event. It’s enough to make us forget about AI for a few days.

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“This is the iPhone moment for XR,” said Nicole Lazzaro, CEO of XEO Design and creator of the first iPhone game. She had a coveted invitation to the Apple event.

Ori Inbar, founder of AWE, said in an opening speech at AWE that the evidence had been gathered for Apple’s announcement, which has been rumored for years. He noted that Palmer Luckey, founder of Oculus, said on social media that the Apple device is “excellent.” Some veteran XR writers such as Ben Lange from Road to VR and Ian Hamilton from Upload were invited to attend the exclusive Apple event. That is certainly a clue.

The crowds were great among the 300 stands at Augmented World Expo.

Inbar hailed Apple’s long-awaited arrival as confirmation of a market others had long believed in.

Meta certainly expects Apple to dive into the market. So Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg went on the offensive, announcing Thursday that the Meta Quest 3 virtual reality headset will debut in the fall for just $500. The Apple headset could cost $3,000, according to Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman.

With more than 20 million Quest and Quest 2 devices sold, Meta has a good reputation in the market. And there’s a lot of technology packed into the device, which is 40% thinner than its predecessor and has color pass-thru for better mixed reality applications. One developer, who already has the Meta Quest 3 prototype, said the Meta device could use more memory, but it will be interesting competition for Apple.

The Meta Quest 3 is coming this fall for $500.
The Meta Quest 3 is coming this fall for $500.

On Monday, Apple CEO Tim Cook is expected to tout the xrOS operating system for the new device and other features that were seven years in the making. The device is expected to have many iPad apps, converted to work in mixed reality, as well as things like wellness apps, fitness experiences, virtual collaboration, video conferencing, virtual meeting rooms, premium game titles, a portal to watch sports and many other apps, said Bloomberg.

Peggy Johnson, CEO of Magic Leap, and CTO Daniel Diez.

Magic Leap CEO Peggy Johnson also said in an interview with GamesBeat that she was pleased with the attention Apple would bring to the XR market. She said Magic Leap would differentiate itself with precision technology for overlaying real-world images in enterprise applications. She showed such a healthcare application where her own intestines could be seen in 3D based on MRI data.

Popular headsets in the XR market.

“Magic Leap has been doing this for over a decade,” she said. “It feels good to have more participants. It will help the ecosystem grow. It makes the developers in the audience excited about this medium and the programming in it. And we’re excited about the upcoming announcement. Apple usually doesn’t jump into a market too early. So that is very validating when they come to market.”

In a keynote at AWE, Hugo Swart, Qualcomm’s vice president and general manager of XR, praised the openness of the company’s support for XR with its Snapdragon processors and its Snapdragon Spaces platform. As a chip design company, Qualcomm is arming the opposition that favors open ecosystems. He noted that Qualcomm’s hardware is in 65 leading XR devices, with more to come this year.

Hugo Swart is head of XR at Qualcomm.

“We want to show that we’ve been investing in XR the longest,” said Hugo Swart, the XR leader at Qualcomm. “We started with AR in 2010 and we supported the VR headsets in 2015. The world should understand that we’ve been doing this for a long time.”

Ori Inbar (left) and Neal Stephenson talk about Snow Crash on AWE USA.
Ori Inbar (left) and Neal Stephenson talk about Snow Crash on AWE USA.

Neal Stephenson, author of Snow Crash, also reiterated the idea that open platforms should rule the metaverse, rather than walled gardens.

Others hoped that Apple’s focus on Lidar sensors, which are used in many self-driving cars and Apple products, would turn into an advantage. David Levitt, CEO of Pantomine, created the AR technology called Reality Construction Kit that Lidar uses to build AR apps where animations can be seamlessly overlaid on the real world when viewed through a phone or XR devices.

“I feel Lidar will be an asset to our platform,” said Levitt.

I can’t help but wonder if developers will be singing Apple’s praises ten years from now, or if they’ll be complaining about the new monopoly it’s built over XR and the metaverse, much as Epic Games is putting Apple’s stranglehold on the iPhone platform condemned today.

GamesBeat’s credo in covering the gaming industry is “where passion meets business”. What does this mean? We want to tell you how important the news is to you — not only as a decision maker in a game studio, but also as a fan of games. Whether you’re reading our articles, listening to our podcasts, or watching our videos, GamesBeat helps you learn about and have fun with the industry. Discover our Briefings.

Shreya Christina
Shreya has been with for 3 years, writing copy for client websites, blog posts, EDMs and other mediums to engage readers and encourage action. By collaborating with clients, our SEO manager and the wider team, Shreya seeks to understand an audience before creating memorable, persuasive copy.

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