If there’s one person responsible for the modern resurgence of interest in virtual reality, it's Oculus founder Palmer Luckey. And even he appears to be blown away by the upcoming Apple Reality Pro VR headset.
Luckey was the wunderkind mastermind behind the original Oculus Rift VR hardware, bringing it to market via crowdfunding efforts in 2012. Its success (and potential) would see it fall under the radar of Mark Zuckerberg’s then-Facebook company, which purchased Oculus in 2014. Though Luckey would leave the company to focus on defense tech company Andruil Industries, Facebook would go on to change its name to Meta and reposition its focus to gravitate around virtual reality and the ‘metaverse’ from which it pulled its new name.
So Luckey, though now removed somewhat from the public eye of consumer tech, remains an influential (if controversial) figure in the virtual reality industry. And he’s given Apple’s new VR hardware his seal of approval. In a one-sentence tweet, Luckey states ‘The Apple headset is so good.’
The Apple headset is so good.May 14, 2023
Apple VR in the wild?
Luckey doesn’t elaborate in the tweet chain that follows on whether or not he’s seen the device, tried it, or is simply commenting on the same rumors that the rest of the VR-interested industry has seen.
But it marks a change in his attitude towards Apple, having given its hardware a frosty reception during his Oculus tenure. Luckey famously stated he wouldn’t bring Mac support to Oculus’s Rift line until Apple had a ‘good computer’ with high-end GPU support. But that was many years ago, and Apple now packs its best Macs with its own M-series silicon that’s efficient and powerful enough to run high-end VR experiences on a wearable device itself.
What’s worth noting though is that Luckey first made VR waves a decade ago — he even made it onto the cover of Time Magazine, which claimed VR would change the world. In the intervening years, the hardware has got much better, Facebook / Meta and other companies have thrown billions of dollars at the concept, and… it still remains a niche market. Apple doesn’t deal in ‘niche’ markets, and so there remains an air of skepticism around whether or not even Apple will be able to make virtual reality a success among the masses. It may be winning over diehard true believers like Luckey, but the general public remains a difficult VR user base to crack.
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Gerald Lynch is the Editor-in-Chief of iMore, keeping careful watch over the site's editorial output and commercial campaigns, ensuring iMore delivers the in-depth, accurate and timely Apple content its readership deservedly expects. You'll never see him without his iPad Pro, and he loves gaming sessions with his buddies via Apple Arcade on his iPhone 14 Pro, but don't expect him to play with you at home unless your Apple TV is hooked up to a 4K HDR screen and a 7.1 surround system.
Living in London in the UK, Gerald was previously Editor of Gizmodo UK, and Executive Editor of TechRadar, and has covered international trade shows including Apple's WWDC, MWC, CES and IFA. If it has an acronym and an app, he's probably been there, on the front lines reporting on the latest tech innovations. Gerald is also a contributing tech pundit for BBC Radio and has written for various other publications, including T3 magazine, GamesRadar, Space.com, Real Homes, MacFormat, music bible DIY, Tech Digest, TopTenReviews, Mirror.co.uk, Brandish, Kotaku, Shiny Shiny and Lifehacker. Gerald is also the author of 'Get Technology: Upgrade Your Future', published by Aurum Press, and also holds a Guinness world record on Tetris. For real.