Apple is building a rival to the metaverse | Cult of Mac

Apple is building a rival to the metaverse

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Apple VR/AR headset takes big step toward production
Apple's answer to the "metaverse" could look a lot different. (Let's hope so.)
Concept: Martin Hajek/Computer Bild

Apple job listings offer a peek into the development of the company’s long-rumored AR headset. Cupertino seemingly wants to create augmented reality and 3D content for its mixed-reality device, which could arrive in early 2023.

More importantly, one posting indicates Apple could be working on a metaverse competitor.

Apple’s ‘metaverse’ could be different

Based on the job listings, Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman says Apple is looking for a software producer to create VR content. Further, it wants to build a video service for playing back 3D content in VR. Another posting points to Apple’s AR headset taking advantage of App Intents framework to work seamlessly with Siri, Shortcuts and Search.

Interestingly, one job posting talks about creating a 3D mixed-reality world. Gurman’s latest Power On newsletter highlights the position’s requirement to “build tools and frameworks to enable connected experiences in a 3D mixed-reality world.”

Previously, Apple marketing chief Greg Joswiak said “metaverse” is “a word I’ll never use.” So, while Facebook parent company Meta has taken an open approach to building its widely criticized metaverse, don’t expect Apple to embrace it.

In January 2022, a report claimed that Apple was not interested in building a complete virtual world for its AR headset. While the company might build a 3D mixed-reality world, its approach could be different from Meta’s.

Apple’s AR headset team gains new members

Apple’s rumored AR headset could debut in the first quarter of 2023. With the headset’s development possibly in full swing, the company has further bolstered the team running the project, according to Gurman.

Dave Scott, who left the company in early 2021, is one of the new additions. He is known for his expertise in the medical and robotics industries. Secondly, Apple’s senior director of engineering, Yaniv Gur, is now working with the headset team. (In more than 20 years at Apple, Gur oversaw development of the iWork, Book, Notes and News apps.)

The headset project is led by Mike Rockwell, Apple’s VP of AR/VR, and Dan Riccio, ex-hardware chief. The latter reports directly to Apple CEO Tim Cook.

The two new additions indicate Apple could be working on adding health- and productivity-focused features to its headset.