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Apple VR Headset Expected To Push The Metaverse’s Limits

Top-tier maker of electronics gear reportedly working on virtual reality goggles.

Apple doesn’t enter new product categories very often; the last was the Apple Watch, in 2014. But that may be about to change: A mixed-reality headset was reportedly shown to the company’s board last month.

While Apple’s most recent Worldwide Developers Conference didn’t herald any new virtual reality/augmented reality (VR/AR) hardware or any new mobile devices, there was a big focus on AR content in the week-long schedule.

“We see a lot of potential in this space and are investing accordingly…,” Apple CEO TIm Cook said in January during the company’s first-quarter 2022 earnings conference call with analysts and investors. “There’s quite a bit of investment going into things that are not on the market at this point.”

The Apple developments come as the metaverse landscape is moving like tectonic plates.

Sony and Lego each gave $1 billion to Epic Games to help build the metaverse. Sony’s PS5 VR headsets are in development, and Microsoft’s $69 billion acquisition of Activision is a metaverse play. Apple, Disney and Amazon are reportedly interested in buying Electronic Arts, maker of Madden, Apex Legends and Battlefield.

 There was a big focus on augmented reality content in the week-long Worldwide Developers Conference this month at Apple’s headquarters in California. (Apple)

Epic Games founder Tim Sweeney envisioned the metaverse as a huge network of venues where “players can have fun with friends, companies can offer innovative and immersive experiences, and creators can build a community and thrive.”

Apple has hardware-based ways to profit from the metaverse, but brands are vital for others. Sony and Microsoft recently expressed interest in in-game advertising. The metaverse requires ads and mechanisms to serve and measure them, much like the internet and the real world.

Apple has been working on its headset since 2015, while Adverty began work on three patents for viewability measurements for in-game and metaverse ads on any gaming screen, from VR to mobile, the realityfollowing summer.

“We offer the sole option to prove that a person saw a 3D ad,” Adverty’s website says. “Our BrainImpression technology analyzes ad viewability by factoring in ad size, time on screen, viewing angle, interfering objects, and lighting conditions. We measure in-game ad viewability through the mobile gaming infrastructure we’ve built – fully programmatic, third-party validated, and internationally scalable through Yahoo and PubMatic.

One of Apple’s augmented reality (AR) offerings. (Apple)

With a few new Apple devices, viewability could soon be measured in augmented and virtual environments.

Virtual reality demands extensive groundwork. Apple’s engagement signals the end of those years. The consumer metaverse is coming five years after construction on it began.

Produced in association with MetaNews.

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