Forget about the design of Apple’s AR headset – give me a reason to worry about mixed reality

Rumors have it that an Apple VR and Mixed Reality headset will be released next year. But after hearing the latest information on Apple’s efforts to create a mixed reality headset, I’m not as concerned that Apple’s product will be worth the wait as it is whether it will be worth the wait. worth it.

Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who is quite familiar with the status of future versions of Apple products, claims that the Apple headphones coming in 2022 will weigh between 300 and 400 grams. The higher end of that range translates to just under 1 pound, and while that’s not a lot of weight in the grand scheme of things, it’s still an extra pound that I don’t have to worry about. to carry at this time. And it’s attached to my head.

Yes, yes, a 300-400 gram headset is very light, especially considering the Oculus Quest 2 weighs 503 grams (or roughly 1.1 pounds). But I don’t particularly like wearing this helmet on my face, either. I can’t imagine that shaving off a little more weight will make such a difference.

Oculus Quest 2

Well, at least Apple’s headset should be lighter than an Oculus Quest 2. (Image credit: Tom’s Guide)

I’ve seen plenty of headset demos in recent years – from the Oculus headsets, the HTC Vive, headsets from companies as powerful as Microsoft to tiny startups that are long gone. And I’m not ashamed to say that my favorite part of every VR, AR, and mixed reality headset demo is the exact moment I can take the headset off.

I’m not ashamed to say that my favorite part of every VR, AR, and mixed reality headset demo is the exact moment I can take the headset off.

Helmets are bulky and uncomfortable to wear. They can be confusing, especially the ones that put you in a virtual world. And damn it, do they make you sweat, especially where the viewfinder comes in contact with your skin. (Another favorite part of the headphone demos is watching someone take the headset I just pulled off my feverish forehead and wipe it down vigorously before handing it over to the next person who gets a demo. By the way, sorry if that was you behind me online.)

And I don’t think that’s a unique feeling that only me, a delicate flower of a man, get when I wear a mixed reality headset. Consider the number of people who wear glasses in this world. Now consider how far they will go not wear glasses, whether that is turning to contact lenses or even something as important as Lasik surgery to correct their vision.

In other words, there are people who need glasses to see things properly and are so desperate that they don’t have to wear these glasses that they are willing to stick tiny lenses directly to their corneas or to wear them. have a doctor shoot lasers at their eyeballs. We’re then supposed to believe that those same people will be clamoring to slap something on them just because Apple or Facebook / Meta or someone else thinks it’s the hot new trend.

I’m sorry, but I’m not buying this. And the idea that things are going to change just because Apple’s headset will weigh a mere 400 grams or so reinforces my belief that the so-called “metaverse” where we’re going to eagerly attach a headset to float virtual items under our eyes. eyes is a bunch of marketing nonsense Mark Zuckerberg invented to make people stop asking him why his social network is helping to undermine Western civilization.

Considering the breathtaking coverage of the Metaverse since Zuckerberg changed the name from Facebook to Meta, you have to give it credit for successfully changing the subject.

The use cases that have floated around so far for mixed reality – immersive games, VR Zoom calls, overlay graphics, and the like – don’t strike me as particularly compelling.

What will make or break Apple’s mixed reality headset – or any similar device from another company – isn’t its weight (although yes, by all means, please make it weigh less). On the contrary, there has to be a compelling use case, something that makes me want to put on headphones to experiment with things that I couldn’t with another device. It may become clearer as we get closer to the reality of such a product, but the use cases that have floated so far – immersive games, VR zoom calls, overlay graphics, and the like. – do not seem particularly convincing to me.

I’ll be happy to be wrong when the rumored Apple headset comes out, and I find it opens up new worlds my simple brain just can’t imagine at this point. But beyond a few niche uses, mixed reality just hasn’t proven it’s the next big thing. And it will be up to the helmet manufacturers to change this fact.

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