The launch of the Apple headset, a moment worthy of the Macintosh?

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Bertrand Nepveu is convinced that Apple will cause a sensation when it launches – this year no doubt – its virtual reality headset. ” I always say, when Apple goes into virtual reality, it will be a Macintosh moment.“, he declared to our colleagues from Radio Canada.

His name may not mean anything to you, but he is probably relatively well placed to talk about this project that has been in the making for several years in Apple’s laboratories. Indeed, Bertrand Nepveu joined the ranks of Cupertino in 2017 when the company he founded was acquired by Apple for around 30 million dollars. This Montreal-based startup was working on Totem, a virtual reality headset that combined AR and VR.

Apple buys Vrvana, which mixes augmented reality and virtual reality

Apple buys Vrvana, which mixes augmented reality and virtual reality

From 2017 to 2021 he worked at Apple in the Technology Development Group and does not hide that he actively worked on the development of Apple’s headphones. At the time, according to him, this project occupied a thousand people, including a small team located in Montreal. He says that when he arrived at Apple, one of the first things his teams had to do was rewrite everything: ” We used a lot of open source (free software), and one of Apple’s signatures is to do everything in-house ».

This Montrealer says he was convinced that computing had to offer more immersive experiences when he tried Nintendo’s Power Glove for the first time. Sold at the time for a hundred dollars, this accessory which took the form of a glove, made it possible to play a certain number of games such as Super Mario Bros., Metroid, Castlevania, Contra or Rad Racer. Using sensors, the user could control their character by making movements. Futuristic, this accessory was also a commercial flop!

image : Evan-Amos

For him, the potential of virtual headsets is immense. According to him, in five years, 80% of homes will be equipped. And in 10 years, everyone will have their own. And this device will then be considered as “ an extension of us like the smart phone ».

Like Mark Zuckerberg, he has long been convinced of the potential of the metaverse. ” I am convinced that the metaverse is going to be the greatest industrial revolution of the 21st century”, remarks that contrast with the reservations expressed on this subject by the leaders of Apple.

The metaverse?  A word that the marketing boss of

The metaverse? A word the Apple marketing boss will never use

And it is certain that the arrival of Apple on this market will once and for all allow these virtual universes to take off. He also believes that the arrival of Apple in this market will push studios to create AAA games for virtual reality.

Finally, the price whispered by the rumor sites concerning Apple’s headphones (around $2,000/$3,000) does not frighten him unduly. He recalls that when it was launched in 1984, the Macintosh cost $2,495. Something to relativize!

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