Earlier this year, Apple demonstrated its position and direction as a spatial computing company with the introduction of the Vision Pro, its entry in the headset market, and its first spatial OS.
Since everyday wearables may still be a few years away, you may be forgiven for not having noticed that augmented reality is already an industry worth tens of billions of dollars.
The transition from personal computers to mobile computers profoundly impacted how we interact with computers and relate with each other. New forms of connectedness and communication emerged, as well as new and alien depths of loneliness. Almost every industry has been touched by mobile, and an enormous percentage of the world’s population interact with computers and the internet mainly through their handheld device.
When Apple says that spatial computing is the next big thing, it’s hard to overstate the significance of what they are trying to tell you:
A shift as momentous as that from desktop to mobile is here and it is going to change the world.
Spatial computing is not the transition from phones to wearables, but a profound change in how we interact with information and each other. The next era is not a computer in your pocket, but experiencing the internet in physical space.
Apple’s Vision Pro is the first device they designed to be spatial first, but many modern smartphones have spearheaded the technology. Your handheld is more than a phone today already: it’s a looking glass.
You can read more about how handheld spatial computing is having an impact today in our recent press release about Convergent, the spatial computing platform for retail we launched this week.
So spatial computing is not about transitioning from mobile to wearable, but rather the transition to experiencing digital information in physical space.
Just as mobile changed the way we interact and communicate, so too will spatial computing. Microsoft VP Lili Cheng recently said that mixed reality is the eyes and ears of AI, but I suspect the story runs even deeper than that.
In previous eras, humanity has delved into digital worlds, but now we are inviting digital things to join us in ours. Spatial computing is the art of allowing the digital to inhabit the physical world, and our intent with building the posemesh is for it to be the collaborative proprioception of the machine.
— Nils Pihl, CEO of Auki Labs