There are countless reasons to be skeptical about Apple launching its own virtual reality headset. However, there is a reason to believe that Apple thinks it has cracked the code: the fact that it is actually going to unveil a product at WWDC 2023.
Apple only launches a new category when the world’s largest technology company believes it can change the landscape and bring incredible value to the world in the process.
It is a foregone conclusion that Apple will announce a headset at its annual Worldwide Developer Conference on June 5. What is not so clear is why, and what Apple has discovered that Google, Samsung, Sony, Facebook/Meta, and countless others that have been missed over the past decade. None of them managed to give the world a reason to love VR.
Also: Every Apple product we’re expecting at WWDC 2023: Reality Pro headset, MacBook Air, more
What Apple showed us on June 5 is likely to be interesting and limited. In the same way that the first Mac, iPod, iPhone, and Apple Watch fascinated us with their possibilities but were very limited in their initial capabilities, the Reality Pro (if that’s the real name) is probably not going to break the physical its shape. than the picture Apple paints of what it may finally be possible.
Despite VR’s struggles in recent years, we know there are some really good things going on. For example, VR is rapidly making a huge impact on training. According to research from PwC, students using VR train four times faster than classroom students, four times more focused than e-learning students, 275% more confident using the skills after learning, and are 3.75 times more emotionally connected to their learning than people in classrooms.
That kind of training effectiveness is likely to be in high demand in the coming years because AI will affect the future of jobs and a ton of retraining of workers will inevitably be needed.
Also: Apple’s AR/VR headset rumor roundup: What we thought we knew so far
It makes sense that VR is so effective as a training tool, because it’s so immersive. The difference between the full VR experience and reading a web page or watching a video — while notifications pop up on your phone, or the person next to you asks you a question, or you grab the snack at your table – so obviously a big gap.
The question now is where can that level of immersion be used to create other types of next-generation experiences?
That’s the big picture that Apple sees and thinks about. And probably what led the company to start a journey towards the creation of a headset, a future pair of augmented reality glasses, and an ecosystem of experiences that are more immersive and engaging than what we have today on our computers, smartphones, and tablets. .
To be clear, it doesn’t replace everyday devices and it’s not something we use all the time. But it can be something we can use for some of our most important or favorite experiences where we want to go deeper. Think about the most important topics you are involved in in your work or life, and what it would look like if you could study those experiences in a deeper and more passionate way.
Also: The best VR headsets for gaming, the metaverse, and more
For example, a realtor can now offer a client five virtual walkthroughs of their top housing options in less than an hour, instead of blocking out an entire day and driving around. around the city. A family choosing a vacation spot can pass on a headset and each tour three different options, including a quick look at hotels, restaurants, and activities. A sports fan can use a headset to take them to a live event and put them in a front row seat that they can’t afford in real life. A person who wants a job in a highly specialized field can put on a headset and apprentice with a world-renowned expert on the other side of the planet as part of a one-of-many program that feels like one-on-one.
The internet has given us the first level of many of the experiences mentioned above. Virtual reality is at the beginning of opening the next level. And now Apple will bring its focus to usability, elegant hardware, and of course, a powerful consumer story.
So when Apple announced its long-awaited headset at WWDC 2023, it might not make much sense to think of it as Apple entering the VR market. Perhaps it’s more useful to think of Apple’s arrival in this space as a signal that the new generation of an immersive internet is about to take some of our most valuable digital experiences to the next level.