Apple’s development of virtual reality content and software tools is fundamental to creating experiences that give a future purpose to headphones. Its last major new product, the Apple Watch, launched with around 3,000 apps but has struggled to boot because of it Tech reviewers said few of these apps were useful. Similar shortcomings have been afflicted Meta Quest VR Glasseswhose sales last year exceeded 10 million, because many view it as a gaming device.
From the original Macintosh to the iPad, Apple has pursued products that attract a wide range of potential customers and have a range of uses. It sold an estimated 240 million iPhones last year, which is about half of its $366 billion in total sales. Analysts said that to make the headset worthwhile, you’ll need utilities beyond the realm of niche video games.
Apple CEO Tim Cook has been talking about the potential of augmented reality for years. In 2016, he told investors that the company was investing heavily in it and considered it a “great business opportunity”. Around that time, several employees on Apple’s campus were reading “Ready Player One,” a futuristic novel about virtual reality, and talking about the possibilities of creating Apple’s own mixed reality world.
Apple hired an engineer from Dolby Technologies, Mike Rockwell, and assigned him to lead the effort. Two people familiar with the project said that its early efforts to create an augmented reality product were stymied by poor computing power. These people said ongoing challenges with its battery power have forced Apple to delay its release until next year.
The augmented reality initiative has been divisive within Apple. At least two members of the industrial design team said they left the company, in part, because they had some concerns about developing a product that might change the way people interact with each other. Such sensitivities increased within the company amidst The public is increasingly concerned about the time children spend in front of screens.
With Mr. Rockwell at the helm of the company, the product will be one of the first to come out of Apple led by its engineering team rather than co-founder Steve Jobs, who died in 2011, and its former chief design officer, Jony Ive, who left the company in 2019. Mr. Yves and his designers led the Apple Watch project, who determined what it looked like, how it worked, and how it was marketed.
Mr. Favreau’s programming shows how Apple is trying to differentiate its product from the Meta. It also shows how the company is capitalizing on the relationships it has developed in Hollywood since launching Apple TV+ in 2019.
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