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Meta vs. Apple: The Future of Spatial Computing Revealed

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In a recent Instagram video, Mark Zuckerberg, the CEO of Meta, showcased a groundbreaking development in the realm of extended reality (XR). The video, featuring a virtual keyboard and impressive typing speeds, offers a glimpse into the company’s XR vision. With Apple also pushing the boundaries of spatial computing, the competition in the XR market is heating up.

Meta’s XR keyboard revolution

The Instagram video captures the moment when Meta’s Reality Labs research transforms any flat surface into a virtual keyboard, enabling touch typing. During a friendly competition, Andrew Bosworth achieved a remarkable typing speed of nearly 120 words per minute, while Zuckerberg himself managed around 100 wpm. This playful demonstration unveils Meta’s commitment to immersive and productive solutions.

Apple, a tech giant renowned for innovation, is making strides in spatial computing. This technology could redefine the XR landscape and set it apart from existing immersive products. Meta’s recent video hints at its dedication to providing productivity-focused immersive solutions, potentially setting the stage for the upcoming Quest 3 launch.

Meta’s XR device journey

Meta has been actively engaged in the enterprise-grade XR device journey, introducing Meta Quest Pro devices that aim to shape the future of work. While news regarding the Quest Pro remains relatively silent, Meta appears eager to unveil its upcoming Mixed Reality (MR) headset, the Quest 3, in close competition with Apple’s Vision Pro.

Apple’s Vision Pro: Transforming work

Apple’s Vision Pro seeks to replace traditional laptop screens with a spatial computing vision. This vision allows headset users to interact with applications using hand-tracking within a 360-degree environment. The hardware overlays Augmented Reality (AR) content onto real-world locations, and integrated Apple workplace applications position it as a productivity tool. Despite supporting AR/VR/MR gaming and Metaverse content, Apple aims to present its MR device as a laptop alternative rather than a gaming console.

In contrast, Meta intends to introduce the Quest 3 as a gaming headset, distinguishing it from its Pro product line. However, Zuckerberg’s recent post suggests that Meta is exploring the possibility of creating a spatial environment tailored for productivity, potentially competing directly with Apple’s Vision Pro in 2024.

Meta Connect 2023: A sneak peek into the future

Meta is gearing up for its Connect event, a two-day XR showcase scheduled for September 27 – 28. The event promises discussions on emerging technologies, including the Quest portfolio, Ray-Ban Stories, Avatars, and Horizon Worlds. Attendees can anticipate an in-depth look at upcoming Meta XR products, developments in the Horizon Worlds metaverse, innovations in AI, and hands-on experiences with Meta’s forthcoming immersive product lineup. Day two will feature developer sessions and previews, likely unveiling the highly anticipated Meta Quest 3 MR device.

Key features of the Meta Quest 3

Based on current information, the Meta Quest 3 boasts several exciting design features:

  1. Qualcomm Snapdragon XR2+ Chipset: This chipset promises users “twice the graphics performance,” according to Zuckerberg.
  2. Compatibility with legacy titles: The Quest 3 will support all legacy titles, with the CEO mentioning that “more titles [are] coming.”
  3. Hand-Tracking: Offering a more intuitive way to interact with the virtual world.
  4. Ample storage: With 128GB of storage, users can store a variety of applications and content.
  5. Battery life: The Quest 3 offers roughly 2 hours of battery life, ensuring extended gameplay or immersive experiences.
  6. Prescription glasses space: The headset design accommodates users who wear prescription glasses.
  7. Expansive Field of View (FOV): With a 100-degree FOV, users can expect a wide and immersive visual experience.

The XR future unveiled

As Meta and Apple continue to push the boundaries of XR and spatial computing, the future of immersive technology has never been more exciting. Zuckerberg’s playful video hints at Meta’s aspirations, while Apple’s Vision Pro aims to redefine how we work and interact with digital content.

The upcoming Meta Connect event promises to be a pivotal moment, offering enthusiasts and developers an opportunity to explore the latest advancements in XR technology. With the Quest 3 on the horizon, Meta is poised to make waves in the immersive technology landscape, potentially rivaling Apple’s ambitious Vision Pro.

In this race for XR supremacy, both Meta and Apple are driving innovation and paving the way for a new era of immersive experiences. The world of spatial computing is evolving rapidly, and it’s a thrilling journey to witness.