Apple Mixed Reality Headset Could Kick Off Opportunities

Apple is reportedly finalizing its “mixed reality” headset for a 2023 release, which could lead to a spike in demand for technologists skilled in both augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR).

According to Bloomberg reporter Mark Gurman (as summarized by 9to5Mac), Apple is putting the final touches on the headset’s software (codenamed “Oak”). Despite a hiring slowdown, the company is also looking for engineers who can build software for AR and VR environments.

One job posted Nov. 10 on Apple’s website suggests the company wants engineers who can help with “ideating, building, and shipping groundbreaking experiences that build on top of the incredible capabilities of AR and VR.” In other words, helping refine the frameworks that will allow third-party developers and outside companies to build AR and VR experiences for a headset.

Apple has spent years preparing the ground for this new platform. If you’ve built anything for the company’s iOS ecosystem, you might be familiar with RealityKit, its AR tooling platform for motion capture and people occlusion (i.e., evaluating the relative positions of virtual objects and actual people); Apple has been encouraging developers to play around with it since WWDC 2019

That’s in addition to ARKit, which allows developers to create AR experiences for their iPhones and iPads, and could be easily tweaked for AR glasses of some kind. While there have been some AR hits on iPhones—“Pokemon Go” was a huge hit back in 2016—the technology hasn’t seen widespread adoption on mobile.

An Apple headset could change all that. While Facebook has aggressively pushed its Quest headset and “metaverse” ecosystem of AR and VR apps, Apple has spent the past few decades building up a considerable reputation in hardware—one that could finally attract a new generation of developers and other tech professionals to the possibilities of AR and VR.

One Response to “Apple Mixed Reality Headset Could Kick Off Opportunities”

  1. jake_leone

    Headsets are toys, toys that require work to use. People coming home from work (and therefore have money) are not interested in working some more to be entertained.
    Most people want a passive experience, and they don’t want to pay 1500$ for a headset that is a pain to wear.
    Apple and Meta are spending billions on this. Apple will win the hardware war, but lose money on it for decades. Facebook will lose both the software and hardware war.
    We need automatic content generation.
    Meta is basically photo album + messaging. Meta should enhance its offering in that space. Meta makes an immense profit per employee, despite a slow down. But has lost market share to TikTok, and the reason is because TikTok innovates within the space that is the Mass Market.
    Innovating in a niche space, like VR + Headsets, will not pay off.
    The mass market is passive viewing, with a comfortable system, on the couch or desk chair, at a reasonable price (1000$ unit, are a pain to wear, require arm movements (tiring for an already tired consumer).
    And the answer is to find a way to drop the cost to produce content. And it can be done. Automatic Image Generation, is being expanded to animation, add in voice, sound you have a system that can produce movies for pennies. And they can be produced by a consumer, using their voice, on their (<500$ desktop, assuming Meta provides the servers), and shared with other users.
    That's what movie production is going to look like, very soon. And if people are not hooked on Meta's offering in that space, they Will Be Hooked on Someone Else's offering in that space. And it will attract billions of viewers.
    So I get Tim Cook's hangup, he is hardware guy, he just can't think of anything else. Hardware is his only solution, and it is a mistake in this case, but that's all he has.
    Zuckerberg is diverting ten billion a year to a VR world, that is already in heavy competition with hundreds of other VR worlds. And VR worlds are a space that has seen hundreds of dead software companies, that tried and failed to make it profitable.
    The Metaverse will be a lonely, costly mistake for Meta. At a time when compatitors can have their users, for far lower cost, by simply offering automatic content generation.
    And all the bologne about AI wasting energy. Think about the energy wasted to produce one episode via Hollywood, vs the ability of a single GPU to create an episode overnight. There is not comparison. Every episode produced by the current physical methods produces 10,000 times more Green House gas, than a GPU running overnight to create a similar length episode.