Apple Quietly Promoting Full VR Applications on Vision Pro to Devs, Working Directly With Metaverse Platform Rec Room

Apple Vision Pro VR Rec Room

At right: Video from Apple”s WWDC 2023 developer page

After some tantalizing hints on Monday, I can confirm that Apple is indeed working directly with leading metaverse platform Rec Room on being a full VR application for Vision Pro. You can see for yourself by going to this WWDC 2023 developer page, where Apple devs feature Rec Room as a key Unity application for use on Vision Pro.

To put it another way: Apple is quietly promoting Vision Pro for full VR use, including on metaverse platform.

I say “quietly”, because if you look at the major WWDC presentation hosted by Tim Cook, there’s very little about bringing 3D AR experiences into Vision Pro, and literally nothing about VR. (As in the words “virtual reality” neve once leave Cook’s lips.) 

Apple seems to be smartly employing a mullet strategy for Vision Pro:  Business, productivity, and everyday iPhone-like augmented reality applications for wealthy mainstream consumers in front — full virtual reality party for hardcore VR / metaverse geeks in back.

Speaking of which, here’s VR influencer Nathie showing off Rec Room in full VR in Apple Vision Pro:

So this is very interesting. At the same time, worth keeping in mind that this doesn’t change the fundamentals of VR and Vision Pro itself: Thanks for the $3499 price point, and the abundant challenges with VR that I cover in my book, it’s still the case that virtual reality will be a niche use case for an enterprise product positioned as AR — or if you like, a niche within a niche within a niche.

Also at the same time, this would still be a boon for the development of the Metaverse, making it easier to deploy enterprise applications in platforms like Rec Room and VRChat (both built in Unity), while also giving Vision Pro owners who do enter Rec Room and VRChat a special status. (Similar to what Stephenson mentioned in Snow Crash, where the few hardcore geeks/wealthy who own high-end VR afforded elite reception.)

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