The announcement of the coveted mixed reality Apple headset is approaching and the rumor mills are firing up left and right. One persistent connection that is being made is that this headset will reignite interest in the metaverse and that as we have seen before, metaverse tokens will begin their own mini-bull run, outperforming major coins. So, is the newest Apple product going to be the catalyst?
The Apple Headset and xrOS
Let’s begin with something you ought to keep in mind throughout: very little is known about the long-rumored Apple headset. There is, however, some information that is well-circulated and likely has some credence. Firstly, it is alleged that the Apple headset will be mixed AR (Augmented Reality) and VR (Virtual Reality), which is unusual in itself. Secondly, the headset is aimed at developers and professionals primarily, not the average consumer, and it will be launched with supplementary software that capitalizes on the new tech. Thirdly — and following on from the second point — it’s likely to be around $3,000.
The operating system is a brand-new rumor that emerged today after Apple filed an xrOS trademark, believed to stand for Extended Reality Operating System.
There is little value in discussing the specs of the device as everything you can find is purely speculation — albeit some well-founded speculation in places — but we do have one reliable piece of intel. Palmer Luckey thinks the headset is “so good”. Now, that seems absurdly poor intel on the face of it, but Palmer Luckey is one of the co-founders of Oculus and a bonafide expert on the subject.
The Apple headset is so good.
— Palmer Luckey (@PalmerLuckey) May 14, 2023
The official announcement for the Apple headset is expected to land at WWDC in June, at which point, many believe a chain reaction will happen, particularly in the financial world. A market analyst at eToro and host of their podcast, Josh Gilbert, told Cointelegraph that the Apple headset could be a market-moving event and that “When Apple does it, they usually do it right.” He did, however, caveat the sentiment with skepticism over how much it may impact metaverse tokens simply because the realization of the potential of the metaverse is a long way off; a man of sense!
That said, the gentle undulating crypto markets are awaiting a blessing or disaster to react to, and plenty believe this might be it (and hopefully the former). We have seen metaverse tokens pump (almost) independently of the market sentiment, so it is far from unthinkable. Udi Wertheimer feels strongly about this:
CT is completely oblivious to the fact that Apple is about to launch a mixed reality headset in 3 weeks
Metaverse shitcoins are going to pump so hard it’s not even funny
But you morons keep buying influencer coins
— Udi Wertheimer (@udiWertheimer) May 15, 2023
The Metaverse and VR
There exists a fundamental issue with this rumor and it’s a topic I have discussed countless times on the Mint One podcast and in my article The Danger of Insisting the Metaverse Needs to Be in VR. The summary of my thoughts can be found in the above article, but here is an excerpt:
Now, the problem for those in Web3 and the metaverse is this: how much weight do we put in VR when building the metaverse? Building the poorly-defined-thing for the not-yet-ready technology is absurd.
Robert Baggs, ‘The Danger of Insisting the Metaverse Needs to Be in VR‘
Nevertheless, this connection between the metaverse and VR is persistent, whether pernicious or not. Although it makes sense that VR is the ultimate destination for digital entertainment, after over a decade of honing, VR still isn’t over the line yet. Ironically, the concept of the metaverse and its ties to VR may cause a self-fulfilling prophecy where investment in VR goes up to meet the needs of the vision for a metaverse.
Whatever the case, Apple’s headset needs to be to VR what the iPhone was to smartphones if it is to impact the metaverse in any meaningful way. What is perhaps most noteworthy about this discussion is that from what experts have suggested, the Apple headset might just be that significant a milestone in VR. Could it be, therefore, the great enabler of the metaverse?