Apple just pulled ahead in its race to “The Oasis.”
In 2022, I wrote about how the big players in the tech industry are attempting to be the first to reach the building of a virtual reality world where people can work, play, interact, go to school, hold meetings, and live with each other seamlessly. At this time, the concept is called “The Oasis,” based on a book called “Ready Player One” (now also a movie by Steven Spielberg) written by Ernest Cline.
The concept of “The Oasis” is so seductive that Mark Zuckerberg has been racing to its creation, even going so far as to rename his company to “Meta” and put a lot of time and effort into developing VR technology and interactivity with the “Oculus” and the “Metaverse.” Something very similar happened in the book for the company that developed The Oasis. It’s even rumored that Zuck hands out the book to the employees who work on the Metaverse.
Why race to The Oasis?
Because whoever controls it effectively controls the world.
Whoever creates the dominant VR realm will become a central business hub for corporations worldwide. Billions of people will don their headsets and haptics to go to work, hang out with friends, go on adventures, watch professional sports, movies, or shows, tour museums, go to class, play video games, and more. As Cline wrote in his novel, so huge will this virtual world be that it will even have its political system.
It will change the way we live, work, and socialize, and the company that gets there first will become so powerful and wealthy that it’s hard to fathom it.
The only thing holding these companies back right now is just that the tech necessary for this kind of thing hasn’t been perfected yet…but it’s getting closer all the time.
Apple, for instance, just proved that it has made some real progress, at least in terms of the visual aspect of it with its new Apple Vision Pro.
Last week, Apple released its commercial for the product attempting to show off what it can do, but it frankly fell short of getting the message across despite the show-and-tell looking like something straight out of a sci-fi movie of the near future. However, one of the Apple Vision Pro’s users uploaded their demo of the product and you can see just how impressive this tech is.
ok this demo is better than apple’s actual ads for vision pro 🤯 pic.twitter.com/DE9IGdGCcG
— kitze 🚀 (@thekitze) February 4, 2024
Even this demo doesn’t fully display what the visor can do, but outside its capability, the important thing to note is the image’s stability and visual memory as he moves around his house. He can effectively create screens of information and moving images out of thin air and they stay exactly where he left them. This is a big deal.
Ben Kew wrote on the Apple Vision Pro and how it’s doomed to failure. He’s not necessarily wrong. The Apple Vision Pro isn’t going to succeed in capturing the attention of the general public and become a commonly adopted piece of technology…for now.
The tech is still a baby, but it’s still in its infancy. It might be more accurate to say that it’s leaving it. It’s now learning to crawl. It’s still clumsy and riddled with imperfections but the drive to perfect this technology is strong in these companies. They want The Oasis and they want it badly.
Apple’s work on augmented reality goggles is just one step in creating something larger and they, or other companies, are not just going to stop sinking billions and billions of dollars into its development. Apple, Meta, and even Google will continue to push this tech at blinding speeds in their attempt to get to The Oasis.
A lot of technological developments are still further down the line. Robots like the kind Elon Musk is trying to build are still a ways out and advanced AI technology, while closer than you think, still has a lot of work to do before it can look like the sci-fi beings you’ve seen in movies and books.
But The Oasis, or at least an equivalent of it, is closer than probably all of them. Tech companies are desperate to be the king of the AR/VR hill because of all the technologies it will be the most pervasive and profitable once it gets to a point where the public will readily adopt and consume it.
According to Builtin.com, market analysts predict the VR and AR markets to reach $454 billion by 2030 alongside 23 million VR-related jobs. Microsoft, Samsung, Unity, and a smattering of other lesser-known companies are all dedicating money and time to the creation of this technology alongside Apple and Meta. Even Pixar is developing tech for virtual reality filmmaking.
The virtual world is coming and it’s coming fast. Right now it’s clunky, causes a few issues that can’t go overlooked, and is wildly overpriced, but so is a lot of tech before it becomes the norm.
Get ready, Player One.