In the wake of Apple’s recent launch of the Vision Pro AR/VR headset, Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg expressed his underwhelmment, stating that it is “seven times more expensive” and “requires excessive energy.” This comparison was made in reference to Meta’s own headset, Quest 3, which was unveiled just two days prior to Apple’s announcement, possibly timed strategically ahead of Apple’s WWDC event.
Zuckerberg, speaking to his team on June 8, expressed curiosity about what Apple had brought to the table under the leadership of Tim Cook. However, he appeared unfazed, as reported by The Verge. Addressing a group of Meta employees, he conveyed that Apple had no exclusive solutions to the limitations imposed by the laws of physics, asserting that Meta’s teams had already explored and contemplated these challenges extensively.
While some may consider Apple’s Vision Pro and Meta’s Quest 3 as direct competitors, given their close release dates and shared mixed reality functionality, early reviews suggest that both headsets become uncomfortable for wearers after just 30 minutes of use. However, one notable distinction sets them apart: Vision Pro comes with a hefty price tag of $3,499, whereas Quest 3 is priced at a more affordable $499. This significant price difference may dissuade AR/VR enthusiasts seeking budget-friendly technology from opting for Apple’s offering.
Even Tesla CEO Elon Musk took a ‘trippy’ swipe at Vision Pro’s cost in a tweet.
‘There’s a real philosophical difference’
Apart from the price difference, Zuckerberg thinks there’s a difference in the values shared by Meta and Apple. Sharing his vision, Zuckerberg said he wants the tech to be affordable and accessible, and that the company has already sold tens and millions of Quests.
“By contrast, every demo that they showed was a person sitting on a couch by themself,” he said. “I mean, that could be the vision of the future of computing, but like, it’s not the one that I want.”
He said, “Our device is about being active and doing things,” calling Metaverse ‘fundamentally social.’
However, Zuckerberg did take note that Apple’s Vision Pro is using a higher-resolution display than Meta’s Quest 3, with the former delivering 23 million pixels across two displays, more pixels for each eye than a 4K TV.
Meta isn’t playing around
Zuckerberg is not faffing around when it comes to making dents in the AR/VR space. Meta is funneling big bucks, to the tune of billions of dollars monthly, towards Reality Labs, the research unit of Meta. This has been a cause of worry for Meta’s investors due to the economic downturn and major economies slipping into recession.
But undaunted, Zuckerberg is sprinting to push virtual reality, while keeping an eye on artificial intelligence. In the same meeting, Meta announced that they will put generative AI into Facebook and Instagram in the upcoming months. It has been reported earlier on how Meta might be planning on embedding an AI chatbot with Instagram.