Apple Vision Pro — Can It Fuel the Traction of Mixed Reality?

Apple Vision Pro — Can It Fuel the Traction of Mixed Reality?

완독 시간: 6 분

The world has been abuzz with excitement and anticipation since Apple announced the impending launch of its new “spatial computing” device, Vision Pro, especially given the tech giant’s record of accomplishment in delivering disruptive innovations. Priced at a whopping $3,500, the Vision Pro serves to target a niche consumer demographic in its initial release and aims to differentiate itself by offering one-of-a-kind UX and display technology, a tracking mechanism, and a fully immersive experience.

As competition escalates in this space, with similar ventures from Meta and Google facing challenges, could Vision Pro be the much-needed catalyst to drive mass adoption and render the Augmented Reality or Virtual Reality hype into a reality?

GLG facilitated an inspiring conversation with Jonah Jones, Former Head of Product & Design for the Future of AR/VR/Metaverse at Meta Platforms, Inc., to share his take on:

  • The impact of enhanced MR and spatial computing technology across the value chain, differentiation against existing AR/VR devices, and drivers behind its traction — from end users and consumers of electronic devices to application developers and the metaverse ecosystem
  • The competitive landscape of key offerings (g., Oculus Quest Pro from Meta, PlayStation VR from Sony, Spectacles by Snap) and corporate users’ considerations of choosing Apple against its competitors from a product perspective
  • Commercial application scenarios — game development, home entertainment (e.g., Disney+, Netflix), real estate, retail, healthcare, and beyond
  • Pricing strategies of Apple Vision Pro against its estimated manufacturing cost — what’s the right price for a consumer device?
  • Apple’s and key players’ roadmap and positioning for the Vision Pro and flagship devices, including adoption potential and growth momentum

A Unique Approach

All of the offerings in the space today have had a fairly clear niche audience, but Apple is taking a unique go-to-market approach for two reasons.

The Meta ones are going after gaming and causal occasions, starting with a minimum, or what they consider a viable price point, and working toward a viable product. Microsoft, however, is going after the manufacturing-related application scenarios (military or medical space, for example), looking at a niche and viable audience, and gradually bringing out more offerings.

This is the first time, and a rare instance of Apple not launching something at a consumer-friendly price point with clear use cases that it is going after, or making it available immediately to the market, which provides a glimpse into the future of what a consumer device might look like. This is letting developers and consumers begin to experience and think about what they might want this for when it does eventually become mass-market, easily affordable, and easily available.

Apart from that, the Apple Vision Pro is positioned between AR and VR, as most other devices in space so far have been either AR or VR. Meta provides a metaverse experience that’s really VR, and Microsoft and Snap wearables provide AR experiences. The Apple Vision Pro is a VR device that feels like AR, but there’s no VR experience in there

Not a True AR or VR Device

Again, Apple Vision Pro provides no VR experience. You can never look or walk around 360 degrees, and there are no game controls to manipulate. Nor is it a true lightweight AR device, which is something you could wear all day long.

Case in point: In the real world, on Apple’s device, if you stand up and move more than a meter, the entire screen turns off because it wants you to sit down. So it’s a weird and interesting mix between VR and AR that really is MR, or mixed reality, but it is pretending to be AR.

Complementary Rather Than Disruptive

It’s not going to replace your iPhone tomorrow or put everyone else out of business. Rather, Apple Vision Pro is complementary to your tried-and-true devices — and it’s going to ignite the market.

An Early Market with Spatial Computing Taking Off — and Apple Is Accelerating It

Upon entering a market, Apple will always massively accelerate that market, especially with such an incredibly high-end and impressive piece of hardware and nice, tight integration within the existing Apple ecosystem. This should get more developers on board, get people to take the whole spatial computing thing more seriously, and basically ignite the market even further.

  • New Opportunities – This will be good for Meta or Google when they come in. It’ll definitely be good for anyone who is developing hardware, software, services, or any of these things.
  • Evolving Competitive Landscape – As this market starts to grow, there’s going to be a ton of opportunities for everyone, up until at some point, somebody’s going to start to dominate and suffocate other people.
  • Merge & Acquisition Dynamics – Maybe there’s limited opportunity to big platform, but if you’re manufacturing certain types of hardware, like screens or inputs, or anything on Apple, Facebook, Meta, or Google store, maybe you’ll be acquired as the market is taking shape to establish itself

“Spatial Computing” and “Metaverse” to Meta and Apple

Apple’s entry into the market expands and accelerates spatial computing. Whether or not it expands or accelerates the metaverse is a completely different question.

Apple did not use the word metaverse once in its Vision Pro literature. Meta and Apple are pushing completely different versions of how spatial computing will work.

Meta is imagining that we’ll wear these things on our faces, whether they’re virtual reality or normal glasses, and walk around in the real world with a version of the Internet that is not flat on the screen but rather embodied in 3-D space. It’s a bigger vision in terms of connecting everyone and everything.

This is what Apple is pushing: “You know the computing we’ve got today, where you’ve got a mobile phone and a laptop and a desktop, and maybe you’ve got a watch. This is just another one of those.” The Vision Pro is just another device. Apple’s strengths lie in its controlled ecosystem, with everything playing together.

The Meta and Apple devices are complementary.

Evolving Scene in the Space

Right now, with quite clear complementary positioning among Meta, Apple, and Microsoft, it’s really how we can imagine one day things start to overlap that’s really interesting.

  • Cheap gaming and social networking experiences — Meta
  • Military, healthcare, manufacturing-relevant practices — Microsoft
  • Future desktop computing environment — Apple

Over time, as Meta gets better for the same price, and as Apple Vision Pro becomes more affordable, they might expand their realm of use cases and start to overlap. You don’t really have to compare the technical side of the options; it’s more of a “What’s this thing for?” from a consumer or user perspective question to answer.

About GLG Webinar Guest Speaker

Jonah Jones – Former Head of Product & Design for the Future of AR/VR/Metaverse at Meta Platforms, Inc

Jonah Jones helps organizations build better products in less time by advising and mentoring on product, design, and leadership. Named by Fast Company Magazine as one of the Most Creative People in Business, he has spent his career building and leading teams to create great products that people love. He is currently a Product & Design Advisor & Mentor in a self-employed capacity. He was Head of Product & Design for the Future of AR/VR/Metaverse at Meta Platforms, Inc. He previously held the position of Head of Product Design for Sharing, Workplace, and Audience Network at Meta Platforms, Inc. He served as Head of Product Design for the new Google Maps at Google LLC. At both Google and Meta, he has led design for some of the most influential and consequential digital products in the world. Jonah has spoken at events across the globe, including TEDx and the Design Museum, and regularly runs training and intelligence sessions for funds, investors, and consultancy firms.

If you’d like to schedule a conversation with Jonah Jones and discuss further, contact us.

*Disclaimer: The content above is consolidated from a GLG Complimentary Webcast and represents the personal views of the guest speakers. GLG does not comment, endorse, or have responsibility for the truthfulness, relevance, or completeness of the views expressed in the article.*