Apple will not get involved with the ‘metaverse’ despite its VR headset plans, report claims

Andrew Griffin
Monday 10 January 2022 18:20

Apple is not planning to get involved in the “metaverse”, despite its widely reported plans to launch augmented and virtual reality headsets, according to a new report.

The metaverse has become a key point of focus for many technology companies looking to promote their future plans in recent months. Facebook renamed itself to Meta to try and associate itself with the idea, as well as revealing its plans to move social interaction into virtual reality worlds, and has been joined by many others.

But Apple is unlikely to mention the word at all when it introduces its rumoured virtual reality headset, according to reliable Apple journalist Mark German. “I’ve been told pretty directly that the idea of a completely virtual world where users can escape to — like they can in Meta Platforms/Facebook’s vision of the future — is off limits from Apple,” he wrote in his Power On newsletter.

Instead, Apple will focus on “bursts of gaming, communication, and content consumption”, he wrote. Users would be expected to jump into virtual reality to get something done, and then leaving again into the real world, he reported.

That would be in line with Apple’s general commitment to reducing screen time and reliance on devices. It has become the technology company most conspicuously associated with building in features to keep people away from their products, including the option to turn on warnings when people are using an app too much.

Apple has also been more focused on augmented reality, where users will layer digital objects onto the real world, rather than virtual reality tools that create an entirely new world. While it is expected to launch a VR headset relatively soon, that is thought to be at least partly a step towards a more long-term strategy of something more akin to AR glasses.

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