Oculus co-founder praises Apple’s mixed-reality headset

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Luckey wearing a VR headset in 2021., tags: oculus co-founder - CC BY-SA
Luckey wearing a VR headset in 2021. – CC BY-SA

Oculus co-founder Palmer Luckey has praised Apple’s AR/VR headset, fueling the hype ahead of its expected reveal at WWDC 2023 this June.

“The Apple headset is so good,” said Luckey in a Twitter post. Although he did not elaborate further, his confidence in the product’s launch aligns with his previous insights into the VR industry.

As a prominent figure in the field, Luckey has emphasized the significance of enhancing the quality of the VR experience. He has called for “better hardware, broader content, and a deep understanding of how to best interface with a human perceptual system.”

Meta’s recent success with the Quest headsets, having sold nearly 20 million units, indicates progress in this direction. However, concerns about user engagement after the initial purchase have surfaced, with some customers showing less interest than early adopters.

Apple aims to address these challenges and provide a premium mixed-reality experience with its AR/VR headset, rumored to be named the Apple Reality One or the Apple Reality Pro. However, the rumored price range of approximately $1,500 to $ 3,000 might still be too steep for some potential buyers.

All-in on mixed-reality

Luckey’s previous comments on VR headset pricing shed light on his perspective and offer insight into his recent endorsement of the Apple VR headset. He expressed his reservations about cost-cutting measures and highlighted the need for an uncompromising, immersive virtual reality experience.

The American entrepreneur envisioned a “full-dive virtual reality experience that is absolutely indistinguishable from the most thrilling lucid dream.”

Apple’s forthcoming mixed-reality headset is rumored to incorporate a wide range of AR and VR features, including fitness workouts, gaming experiences and innovative ways to consume media.

Despite potential production hurdles that may affect initial availability, the Apple Reality One or Reality Pro remains on track for a highly anticipated unveiling at WWDC 2023.

Apple’s foray into metaverse-linked technology comes at a precarious time when other companies invested in VR and AR have tempered their ambitions, redirecting resources towards AI-focused endeavors.

However, Luckey’s endorsement suggests that Apple’s rumored offering may offer a fresh perspective and heightened potential within the emerging metaverse landscape. His background also lends credence to his assessment, having co-founded Oculus VR in 2012 before its acquisition two years later by Meta.

Challenging landscape

The adoption of Oculus’ VR technology for the metaverse concept didn’t go as smoothly as expected since its launch in 2016, leading to poor sales.

To address this, Meta announced price reductions for its VR headsets in March. Its flagship model, Quest Pro, saw a price drop from $1,499.99 to $999.99.

In 2022, public filings reveal that Reality Labs, the Meta division responsible for the headsets, incurred a loss of $13.7 billion.

While Meta’s metaverse vision has encountered challenges in gaining widespread adoption, Apple’s purported headset could signal a shift in the industry’s trajectory.

Meta has reportedly shifted towards artificial intelligence as its primary investment focus for an “efficiency-driven” approach. CEO Mark Zuckerberg said he had not given up the metaverse quest, even though the VR and AR division is projected to lose $4 billion in its first quarter.

“We’ve been focusing on both AI and the Metaverse for years now, and we will continue to focus on both,” Zuckerberg said.

Conversely, Apple has maintained a comparatively low-key stance on AI, with CEO Tim Cook highlighting the importance of deliberate and thoughtful implementation.


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