Alternate reality: Where Apple is behind on AR

It’s not in this universe.

macalope
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Well, here we are in 2018 and everyone is using virtual reality and augmented reality and we are all certainly enjoying our VR and AR lifestyles that come from the few vendors that have locked up the market, are we not? Sad that Apple got left out on this revolu-

Oh, sorry, The Macalope was looking at the wrong universe. He really has to stop gazing into the Flame of All-Seeing before starting to write these pieces. That was what happened in universe 3629/A, the VR/AR universe. Right next to the universe of cats in hats. In our universe, companies are still waiting for the technology to be better.

Writing for CNet, Ian Sherr says “Here's what happened to Microsoft's Xbox VR gaming headset.”

Earlier this year … Microsoft started telling partners it was putting its Xbox headset plans on hold. Two people familiar with Microsoft's thinking said the company decided to wait until promising new tech like wireless headsets were more feasible. Today, high-end headsets like Sony's $299 PlayStation VR, Facebook's $399 Oculus Rift and and HTC's $499 Vive rely on long and bulky wires plugged into their respective devices in order to work. Wireless adapters meanwhile, add about $300 in cost.

Eminently reasonable. VR and AR are still developing technologies and we’re probably still a few years away from them really taking off. And Microsoft has done well of late in shipping respectable hardware, so why spoil it now by shipping something with a poor user experience?

It might not be horrible to get in early and ship some experimental hardware for early adopters, but which company does that not sound like? The one that pundits declared woefully behind on VR and AR.

(It’s Apple, if you haven’t figured that out yet.)

In March of 2016, Vivek Wadhwa was “skeptical about Apple’s future” because it wasn’t shipping VR gear. That was two years ago, for mathmagically-challenged.

By now, Apple should have released some of the products that we heard rumors about: TV sets, virtual reality headsets, and cars.

Molecular transporters. Cold fusion reactors. Alcubierre drives. None of them have to work, mind you. Just ship them. Just dump crap on the market. That’s what leaders do.

That Apple was devastatingly behind on AR and VR was the conventional wisdom of 2016. The ineffable sense of emptiness that is Business Insider said at the time “Samsung is miles ahead of Apple in one crucial way,” that way being virtual reality. It was reportedly “a huge problem” for the company. How did they know?

Samsung's phone lineup is actually a lineup of powerful virtual reality machines. That's from a new ad by Samsung that pushes the new Galaxy S7 as much more than just a phone: It's a "virtual reality machine."

That’s right. Samsung said so in an ad. What other proof do you need?

Then in July of 2016 on CNBC, TechnoBuffalo’s Jonathan Rettinger had this to say:

”Apple is missing out because it’s not involve at all in virtual reality. Seriously.”

Seriously, bro. Do you even VR?

Somehow here we are two years later and VR and AR are not locked up markets. They’re barely markets at all, despite the dire warnings that Apple was missing out.

  
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