A distinct divergence in technological perspectives came to light as Meta’s CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, recently made some candid comments about Apple’s mixed reality gear. He acknowledged Apple’s vision for the future of computing but asserted it didn’t align with his own, according to various U.S media reports.
The CEO’s comments were made during Meta’s first all-hands meeting at its Silicon Valley campus since the onset of the pandemic. The timing of these comments coincided with the recent unveiling of Apple’s mixed reality headsets, named Vision Pro.
Though Zuckerberg conceded that Apple’s Vision Pro could represent a possible future of computing, he indicated that it didn’t match his aspirations. He reportedly stated, “I mean, that could be the vision of the future of computing, but like, it’s not the one that I want.”
This stance highlights a substantial philosophical distinction between how Meta and Apple are approaching the future of technology. Meta, with its flagship Quest virtual reality headsets, is heavily invested in Zuckerberg’s conviction that the internet’s future will unfold in immersive virtual worlds, otherwise known as the metaverse.
“Our vision for the metaverse and presence is fundamentally social,” said Zuckerberg, according to a transcript posted by tech news website The Verge. He contrasted Meta’s approach with Apple’s, noting that every Apple demo showcased a solitary individual engaging with the technology, rather than a social interaction.
Zuckerberg’s belief in the metaverse was so strong that the company even altered its name from Facebook in 2021 and channeled billions into creating this 3D immersive internet concept. However, the journey hasn’t been smooth, with botched launches, subpar graphics, unclear routes to profitability, and a general lack of understanding from the public about what the metaverse really is.
The metaverse-focused division, Meta’s Reality Labs, has reportedly incurred losses amounting to US$4 billion. Interestingly, Zuckerberg seems to have shifted his discourse more towards artificial intelligence (AI) recently. According to CNBC, he told the all-hands gathering that Meta intended to incorporate generative AI into every single one of its products.
While Meta continues its ambitious venture, Apple unveiled its sleek Vision Pro “spatial reality display,” priced at US$3,499, with plans for availability in early 2023. The Vision Pro offers users the ability to communicate, work, watch movies, and listen to music, all with the choice to be fully immersed or remain partially aware of their surroundings.
In response, Meta plans to release a new-generation Quest 3 with improved performance and a slimmed design at a starting price of US$500 later this year. Zuckerberg referred to this upcoming model as Meta’s “most powerful headset yet,” ensuring the best wireless way to experience mixed and virtual reality.
Despite these developments, Meta’s Quest headset hasn’t quite gained the desired traction outside of specialist users and gamers. Zuckerberg, however, remains optimistic, stating that Meta innovates to ensure their products are as accessible and affordable as possible and noting the sale of tens of millions of Quests.
The information provided in this article is based on data from the Malaymail website.