While the rest of the world doesn’t seem to take the AR mirage too seriously, the fact that Apple is preparing to launch an augmented reality (AR)-based accessory is reason enough for rivals Samsung, Google and Qualcomm to join forces in preparing a response to match.
First explored by Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg’s Metaverse project, augmented reality (AR) technologies involve merging the real world with the virtual world by wearing a glasses-like accessory on your face. The problem is that, so far, no one has been able to convincingly address the huge technological challenges, with devices created for this purpose taking the form of unsightly, uncomfortable to wear and very expensive goggles. However, AR technology is far from being as abandoned as 3D glasses, with the manufacturers of these gadgets finding plenty of takers from the sphere of industrial customers and even the US military.
While it poses major risks for investors, the mere fact that Apple is venturing into this niche market raises alarm bells for other players in the industry, who wouldn’t want to miss another moment like the launch of the first iPhone.
Samsung did not mention whether there are any specific products in development. It also didn’t provide a timeline for future mixed reality products or services.
“It’s more of a declarative announcement on how we’re going to do well in trying to build the XR ecosystem,” TM Roh, president of Samsung’s mobile division, said in an interview with CNET through a translator ahead of the event.
“Google has been investing in both experiences and technology in AR and VR for a long time,” Lockheimer said on stage. “Delivering this new generation of experiences requires state-of-the-art advanced hardware and software. That’s why our collaboration with Samsung and Qualcomm is so exciting.”
Mixed reality is a general term used to describe technology that combines the features of augmented and virtual reality. Augmented reality blends software with the real world by overlaying graphics on top of the user’s surroundings, similar to Google Glass. Virtual reality, by comparison, encompasses the wearer in a 360-degree virtual world, such as Meta Quest 2 .
The announcement comes at a time of heightened interest in virtual, augmented and mixed reality. Apple is expected to release a mixed reality headset in 2023, which could cost $3,000, according to Bloomberg.