It is clear that the battle for AR and VR market share is well and truly on and all the big technology companies are vying for the best talent in the industry as a result. Every now and then we see a major steal that signals a company’s intentions and we saw another one in the final weeks of 2021 between Apple and Meta.
Andrea Schubert previously worked as the head of communications and public relations at Meta (formerly Facebook) for the past 6 years. Now it’s being reported that Apple has hired her away from the rival company in advance of the upcoming AR headset that is expected in 2022.
It’s believed that Apple is working hard to build out the team that they need to handle the product launch of their headset as well as the marketing that is to follow. A leader like Schubert would play a major role in that, as the company aims to create and maintain awareness in the minds of consumers.
The battle for public perception is going to be as important as the actual technology itself as the industry develops. As with any new technology, users will need to be educated about why it matters, what the potential use cases are and be persuaded that it’s something that they need. Apple’s strong brand puts them in a good position to make a really big splash when they finally do launch their headset – because of the strong loyalty they’ve nurtured over the past two decades.
In typical Apple fashion, the project is still shrouded in mystery and so we’re not entirely sure what is coming down the pipe. However, there are some analysts who have pieced together various patents, sources and leaked information to have some view as to what the Apple headset will eventually look like.
It’s expected that Apple will release a standalone headset that can provide mixed reality functionality. You will likely need to pair to an iPhone or Mac, but one would think that this would be as seamless as the rest of the Apple ecosystem.
In terms of technology, it’s likely that Apple will include a sophisticated LiDAR system that eliminates the need for controllers and tracks the user’s hands in real-time. As well as Mac level power thanks to the inclusion of the powerful M1 chip.
It will be expensive, of course, as Apple tends to be. The company really knows how to transform cutting-edge technology into experiences that can reach the mass market. So, the industry will benefit from the headset launch, if only to show the world what is possible with AR and VR.