Last week, Apple Inc. (AAPL) released details on its novel, albeit high-priced, mixed-reality headset at the Worldwide Developers Conference. Notably, the buzzword ‘Metaverse’ was conspicuously absent. Instead, Apple introduced a new concept: ‘spatial computing.’
This shift in terminology reflects the declining interest in the metaverse over the past two years. Even Facebook’s transition to Meta Platforms failed to resuscitate the Metaverse, which saw several platforms hemorrhage millions of users.
But Apple’s vision extends beyond just renaming a phenomenon. They’re not merely creating a platform for games or virtual meetings. They aspire to digitize life itself, using technology to create interactive experiences deeply ingrained in the physical world.
I won’t delve into the technical details of the Apple Headset—there are countless hands-on reviews for that. However, it’s worth exploring the broader implications of this shift from the metaverse to mixed reality.
Could Mixed-Reality be the next milestone in computing?
Judging by Apple’s plunge into the field, the answer seems to be a resounding ‘yes.’ An Apple product launch is usually a potent catalyst for industry-wide competition, as seen with the Mac, iPhone, and Macbook Air.
Apple Vision Pro might not be the pioneer of VR headsets, but its objective extends beyond hardware. Like its predecessors, it aims to redefine content interaction and set the industry’s direction—something Apple is famously proficient at. CEO Tim Cook asserts that the Vision Pro surpasses the capabilities of Macs or iPhones. That’s a claim unmatched by any existing mixed-reality headset.
While it might take years for substantial adoption, the momentum is building. Apple has painstakingly developed the necessary dev tools, apps, and customized silicon to power this innovation.
But let’s be clear: The Vision Pro isn’t just another VR/AR headset—it’s the computing platform of the future.
The original Macintosh heralded a new era of personal computing in 1984, and the iPhone revolutionized mobile computing in 2007. Fast forward to 2022, and over 200 million iPhones are sold yearly, generating approximately $400 billion in revenue.
In this tradition, the Vision Pro is poised to create a unique computing platform. It boasts a 4K resolution for each eye, many cameras, and sensors for environmental mapping and monitoring. It offers an unrestricted workspace, allowing seamless integration of applications within your physical surroundings.
Some critics have lamented the lack of a “killer app,” but such criticism overlooks the broader vision. Apple has integrated its entire ecosystem into this platform, empowering users to accomplish all the tasks their existing computing platforms support.
Apple’s strategic approach of blending proprietary hardware, software, and the user interface has brought about several transformative shifts in digital content interaction. With the introduction of Vision Pro, we might witness another paradigm shift in how we digitally engage with the world.
After the announcement of Vision Pro on June 5, 2023, Apple shares hit an all-time high but closed below record by the market’s end. Shares were briefly up over 1%, traded above the previous record high, but cooled down after the product reveal.
By the end of the day, Apple closed down 0.76% to $179.58. Despite this, Apple’s stock was up more than 38.2% year to date.
I’ll be back next week for another next-gen tech stock review.
Director of Technology Investing Research, Money Map Press