Scott Galloway had an interesting take on Apple’s Vision Pro announcement last week:
“It will officially be the most elegant final nail in the coffin of this sort of headset-driven VR consensual hallucination.”
If it’s a “headset-driven VR consensual hallucination,” it includes not only the tech players, but all of the brands that jumped on the metaverse bandwagon in the last few years.
Given the heft and influence of Apple, marketers will pay close attention to the latest VR news, even as brand investment in the metaverse plummets from the highs of 2022. Sitecore surveyed marketers last month and found that 38% had redistributed investment from metaverse-related projects to AI-related projects.
Notably, Apple didn’t use the words metaverse or virtual reality in its announcement of Vision Pro, relying on spatial computing and augmented reality instead. As one Apple product manager described the vision of Vision Pro, “your entire world is a canvas for apps.”
That’s an invitation for brands and app makers to populate the “canvas for apps,” following the playbook of the iPhone App Store launch of 2008. It will be interesting to see what brands join in.
And whether it will continue, as one writer put it in 2016, the “gold rush to fill virtual reality with ads.”
There’s a Web 2.0 saying, “If you’re not paying for the product, then you’re the product.” At $3,499 for Apple Vision Pro, you’re definitely paying for the product. And yet, who benefits the most from the vision of consumers strapping computers to their faces as captive audiences in an attention economy?
No one know quite how this will turn out, in the short or long-term. But it’s a good reminder not to lose sight of the basics when getting excited about the shiny new thing.
And also, the marketing challenges of trying to connect with people in 2-D don’t magically go away in 3-D.
Here are a few related cartoons I’ve drawn over the years: