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Redefining Terminology in the Extended Reality Realm

In a notable linguistic shift within the Extended Reality (XR) community, the once-dominant term ‘Metaverse’ is making way for ‘Spatial Computing.’ This transition reflects a growing dissatisfaction with the former’s oversimplification of the diverse spectrum of XR experiences.

‘Metaverse’ fails to capture the breadth of XR technologies, which extend beyond virtual spaces to include augmented and mixed reality. The term is seen as restrictive, lacking the nuance required for the various immersive experiences offered by these technologies. The connection with Facebook’s umbrella company Meta is also anathema to many creatives as the company seeks to position itself as a virtual worlds gatekeeper.

Embracing ‘Spatial Computing’

Simon Greenwold, an MIT graduate researcher in 2003 was working on some cool projects that involved combining early augmented reality prototypes that let users control computers with real-world actions. He called this ‘spatial computing’ because it was about computing in space, not just on a screen.

But spatial computing has evolved a lot since then. Now, it includes AR and VR technologies that can create immersive experiences for users. You can see digital content overlaid on the physical world, or enter a virtual world that feels like reality. Spatial computing is changing the way we interact with technology and the world.

One of the most anticipated devices in spatial computing is the Apple Vision Pro. This is Apple’s first spatial computer, and it was announced in June 2023 at Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference. It is a mixed reality headset that lets you see both the digital and physical worlds at the same time, while staying connected to others.

It runs on visionOS, the world’s first spatial operating system, and has a three-dimensional interface that lets you use apps without being limited by a display. Apple have started pre-orders for the headset and you only have to wait until February 2, 2024, to get your hands on one in the United States, or later that year in other countries.

We can’t wait to get our hands on one here at Galactig, and we have some big ideas for projects that take advantage of this new technology.