Apple’s Metaverse-AR Play
I’ve been thinking about Apple’s future (as a loyal user and shareholder) and thought it would be interesting to see if others hold a similar view.
There’s been a lot of talk about AR and the metaverse in the last several months. To me, it is truly the future as unlikely as it may seem to many of us today. How it is implemented and who ultimately becomes the FAANGs in this space is impossible to say - how could we have possibly predicted the iPod as a beachhead to the smart phone of today or an online bookseller becoming the leader in cloud computing.
It appears to me Microsoft is ring fencing the AR/metaverse space for the corporate and education world with its HaloLens, Teams, Azure cloud platform, Minecraft and LinkedIn. Facebook is doing its thing with Oculus and its social platforms. Amazon has its bet placed on its cloud platform and with its many gadgets focused on the home. The later two must also have ambitions for a metaverse shopping experience - replicates of actual stores or something like that.
Apple, it appears to me, is priming its tightly integrated ecosystem of software and hardware on lifestyle. Central to this is the AppleWatch which allows tracking of a user’s bio and other necessary metrics (location, movement, position, etc). No other technology company has been able to convince a larger user base than Apple to adopt wearable technology which will be a prerequisite for AR and the metaverse.
Apple Fitness+, like the Apple Watch, had seemed to be a fringe offering and ahead of its time when it was announced. I now wonder if it’s ultimate purpose is to develop it into Apple’s first AR/metaverse offering.
If you’ve got millions of people already using an Apple Watch and the studio space and talent to produce an immersive experience with a personal trainer in a space of your choosing that’s a pretty compelling offering. My wife may not want to put on an Oculus to have a more immersive Instagram experience but she might be willing to put on a pair of Apple Glasses, EarPods (with spacial audio), and an Apple Watch to work out with a personal trainer. Or to go on a run with her friend being there virtually.
From this context it makes a lot of sense for Apple to invest so heavily and early on the Apple Watch. It could replace the smart phone one day. TV shows and fitness productions all play into a future where entertainment will be more immersive than ever. Live concerts and TV shows in the metaverse will make traditional media feel like black and white photos. Transparent mode will bring the user back from the metaverse to an AR world.
It’s quite clear that these large tech firms have seen this day coming for almost a decade now.
I’m interested to see what you all think.