The metaverse is the next internet. But who owns it?
Does Apple have a metaverse? It’s a question many have been asking, especially as the term becomes more of a household name. But just what is a metaverse and why are people wondering if Apple, specifically, has one?
What Is A Metaverse?
A metaverse is essentially the next iteration of the internet – combined with social media. A metaverse allows people to have digital avatars and roam around in a digital world as if it were the physical world.
For example, in a metaverse users can virtually roam the streets of a digital-only city, attend digital-only events, like concerts, and even hang out in digital-only spaces, like coffee shops.
If you’re picturing a video game-like space, you aren’t far off. A metaverse is a construct that allows you to insert yourself into a digital world.
And what’s cool about the metaverse is these digital worlds don’t have to resemble our own. They could be made to look like fantasy worlds or other sci-fi landscapes. With a metaverse, the digital reality is only limited by the creator’s imagination.
Metaverse: Think Matrix Or Ready Player One
If you’re still struggling with the concept of a metaverse, it’s best to think of it as the digital worlds seen in the Matrix quadrilogy or the Ready Player One movie released a few years ago (and based on the book).
Both of these movies feature humans living in digital worlds. In the Matrix, the humans are in the digital world without their knowledge – it’s a depressing thought. But in Ready Player One, the digital world gamers willingly and knowingly join is more like the metaverse that many companies are working on now. This is the fun version of the metaverse.
What Does A Metaverse Require?
As you might expect, entering the metaverse requires more hardware than we require to get on the internet today. You’’ll of course require an internet connection and a computer, but you’ll also need to have a VR headset that you wear over your eyes.
This headset is the device that gives you complete immersion in the metaverse. When the headset is on, you can’t see the real world – only the digital world being projected in front of your eyes.
A number of companies are already working on these headsets. The biggest names include Facebook and, yes, Apple.
Apple has been rumored to be working on an AR/VR headset for years. And 2022 could be the year the company officially launches it. The headset is expected to be a “mixed reality” headset, which means it would overlay digital constructs in front of the eyes of the wearer, though they would still be able to see the real world at the same time too. However, it’s possible the headset could be VR-only too. We just don’t have a lot of information about it at this point.
The headset is rumored to run the rOS operating system, which means Apple clearly sees the headset as a major new device that deserves its own software and it will not just run a flavor of iOS.
Does Apple Have A Metaverse?
As of early 2022, Apple does not have its own metaverse. However, if Apple introduces a mixed reality headset by the end of this year, they soon could have their own metaverse. And if the happens, we could soon see a crowded field of competing metaverses – those run by Apple, Google, and Facebook.
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Apple expert and novelist, Michael Grothaus has been covering tech on KnowYourMobile for the best part of 10 years. Prior to this, he worked at Apple. And before that, he was a film journalist. Michael is a published author; his book Epiphany Jones was voted as one of the best novels about Hollywood by Entertainment Weekly. Michael is also a writer at other publications including VICE and Fast Company.