Apple Vision Pro, What it Means for the Metaverse

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Over the years, tech mega-corporation, Apple, has positioned itself as a reputable brand in the consumer electronics industry with its iOS smartphones, media players, and tablet computers. Since its inception, Apple has thrived with several trailblazing electronic products, including the MacBook, iPhone, iPod, iPad, AirPods, AirTag, Apple Watch, Apple TV, and HomePod. On June 5, 2023, Apple announced its debut in Spatial computing with its Apple Vision Pro. We take a look at what the Apple Vision Pro could mean for the Metaverse.

What is Apple Vision Pro?

The Apple Vision Pro is a revolutionary spatial computing device that fuses digital elements with the physical environment. The Vision Pro reflects a convergence of the digital space and the physical world where its users can connect and communicate with one another. The device offers an extraordinary 3D display and natural and intuitive user control. Unlike other VR and AR headsets, the Vision Pro is a Mixed Reality (MR) headset with no hand-held control or input device; it is controlled by users’ voices, eyes, and hands.

Features of the Vision Pro Headset

The Vision Pro headset is glamorously designed with top-notch materials and computing functionalities to live up to the aesthetic design of all Apple products. The headset’s features can be divided into its hardware (physical) and software (computing) components.

Hardware Design

The Vision Pro headset is physically designed with a piece of 3D laminated glass enveloped with a curved aluminum alloy frame to make it fit perfectly around the user’s face. It has also incorporates a flexible headband that ensures a comfortable mixed reality experience, while a fit dial allows the user to adjust its wearing position. It can be used while connected to a power source (charging) and can last up to 2 hours in the battery alone. Its speakers are strategically positioned close to the user’s ears to deliver quality spatial audio.

The 3D laminated glass of the headset doubles as the optical surface for its cameras and sensors. Its “EyeSight” feature shows users’ eyes while wearing the Vision Pro so that people will know when they are surfing or using apps or fully immersed in the virtual realm. This also provides the user with a window into the physical world.

Eye Tracking LEDs

The device has sophisticated eye-tracking LEDs and infrared cameras that cast invisible light beams onto the eyes. This tracking system also aids the ultraprecise input feature that allows users to efficiently select their preferred elements just by looking at them.

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Sensor Array

The highly-efficient sensor array is an arrangement of high-resolution cameras that can transmit over 1 billion pixels per second to the display, allowing users to see their environment. It also helps to achieve accurate real-time 3D mapping.

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The Revolutionary Dual-Chip

The dual-chip (M2 and R1) is instrumental to the Vision Pro, with each chip assigned a specified functionality to deliver a top-notch spatial experience. The M2 chip is the spine behind the VisionOS (Vision Pro operating system) that runs sophisticated computer vision algorithms to produce efficient and glamorous graphics. On the other hand, the R1 chip is dedicated to receiving inputs and supplying results. It processes inputs from all in-built input devices (cameras, sensors, and microphones) and presents images to the displays within 12mS (milliseconds).

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Software Architecture

The Vision Pro is built on VisionOS, a flagship operating system that powers the device. All inputs or controls are made with the hands, eyes, and voice; this can be achieved by focusing on an element in the field of vision and tapping fingers together to click or select a preferred item or content. Wearers can use the in-built virtual keyboard, or they can dictate commands to the voice recognition software. The headset doesn’t completely disconnect the wearer from physical reality. Instead, is utilizes sensors that respond to external/secondary movement and reveal whatever has approached.

The VisionOS has an in-built app like other Apple mobile devices, including Apple TV, App Store, Photos, Safari, Message, Mail, Music, and so on. The OS practically allows users to create and control an immersive experience such that they can select preferred aesthetic images and a featured background. In addition, while navigating or surfing applications, the device can fill the immediate environment with apps beyond the display boundaries.

Furthermore, each eyepiece of the Vision Pro comes equipped with a custom micro-OLED display system which delivers excellent resolution and colors with its 23 million pixels. The headset won’t give any unnecessary sound; it analyzes the room or studio’s acoustic and physical properties and delivers the perfect sound that fits into the environment.

Isn’t that awesome?

Generally, the Vision Pro is an impressive device that raises the bar of immersive technology and the Metaverse. Unlike the current system, which uses avatars as human personas in the digital space, the Vision Pro can scan the user’s face to create a digital replica of their persona in the virtual world. The Metaverse is compatible with features like playing games and hosting public gatherings and social activities; however, the Vision Pro offers a way to supercharge the experience.

The Vision Pro is a robust and dynamic system; it allows users to surf various contents on the internet, watch movies and other forms of entertainment, access cloud storage on the Apple ecosystem, and capture spatial photos and videos. Furthermore, the device allows users to communicate with others via FaceTime videos, where they can also share documents and screens in real-time simultaneously.

What Does the Advent of the Vision Pro Mean for the Metaverse?

First, the Vision Pro was only unveiled on the said date, it will not reach the public until 2024, and it will cost a hefty $3,499. Essentially, the Vision Pro and the VR & AR devices synonymous with the Metaverse have similar features, with Apple’s new device expanding on the current technology. Due to that, several media platforms like Financial Times have been portraying and projecting that Vision Pro will displace the Metaverse into extinction, however, it is more likely that it will help the Metaverse to achieve its next lofty goals.

Upgrade the Metaverse Landscape

The sophisticated technological approach employed in the Vision Pro can also be incorporated into the Metaverse landscape. This will encourage manufacturers of AR and VR technology to look beyond gaming and socialization in the Metaverse and make the ecosystem more lively and engrossing. This upgrade will also make the virtual space more accessible to decentralized users, as it will provide a new way for them to access its widely developed infrastructure.

Pave the Way for More Sophisticated Technology

Aside from reshaping the Metaverse landscape, the advent of the Vision Pro will also pave the way for more decentralized companies to advance in technological research using Apple’s Vision Pro as a base study. Upcoming companies can upgrade the features of the Vision Pro device and incorporate it into their Metaverse project. Imagine Netflix or other reputable brands debuting into the Metaverse with a Vision Pro-like device; theirs will have more extraordinary features.

Competitive Market

The advent of Vision Pro will also make the Metaverse ecosystem more competitive. Imagine Vision Pro features on a decentralized network like Ethereum; such an approach will lure even Apple to the decentralized space with its burgeoning economy. Furthermore, all Metaverse companies and projects will be more competitive, making them render top-notch deliveries to users at an affordable price. With that, Apple will want to compete for its spot being the OG that introduces such features before being adopted into an alternativelandscape. All in all, the Metaverse will in all likelihood, get a new facelift.

Conclusion

The Metaverse may have appeared quiet amidst the unprecedented crypto bear market. However, during this time, Apple made a groundbreaking announcement by unveiling its revolutionary Vision Pro headset. This cutting-edge device combines augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) features, breathing new life into the Metaverse. While some tech spectators and enthusiasts may have been doubtful about the future of the Metaverse, the introduction of the Vision Pro headset could potentially pave the way for a reimagined virtual landscape. Just as utility NFTs (Phygitals) are reshaping the NFT space, the Vision Pro headset is expected to have a similar transformative effect, shaping the Metaverse ecosystem into an extraordinary decentralized environment.

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