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Race to the Top

Race to the Top

The Race to the Top

In the age of the Great Resignation, seeing top tech companies lure talent away from one another is nothing new. Alongside offering flexibility and trust, it’s done with the promise of ‘cherry’ assignments within a work environment defined by a New Age space of flex furniture groupings and unassigned workspaces. When the talent senses that the organization is focused on their experience, that’s when you’ve won them over. This tug of war is happening everywhere, including at the giants Apple, Meta and Microsoft. What’s different now is the speed and scale at which these companies want to grow. Mira Labs Inc. is a start-up that helps organizations adopt augmented reality for their workplaces, and its COO, Matt Stern, laments that the giants’ appetite is driving costs higher and increasing competition for smaller organizations.

The metaverse is  a virtual realm where people can work, play, learn and shop in an immersive experience. The hardware and software building blocks of this emerging digital world are still being created. The virtual worlds that we have viewed, for example, the surface of Mars at a recent Sundance Film Festival, or any videogame with a headset are proof of concept. It’s predicted that 13.6 million virtual reality headsets will be sold by the end of 2022.

Augmented reality is an overlay to digital content. It’s like a 3D visual instruction, such as adding a hand-stitched leather dashboard to a car’s space frame. It could have an indelible affect, altering the user’s view of the real world. After all, our takeaways are recorded memories. AR is considered by the tech industry to be an even bigger opportunity than VR. Only 325,000 AR headsets were sold in 2021, but the prospect for significantly higher sales is inevitable.

Smart glasses with AR capabilities is the front runner in this race. Google and Apple are teasing a release late this year. Microsoft HoloLens also factor solidly in the race, positioned as the earliest adopter of this technology when it was launched more than five years ago. Talent-rich Meta has its own version under wraps, utilizing the maker of Ray-Ban glasses (EssilorLuxottica SA). With Microsoft in the lead and Mira Labs running in the race, we’re all watching for the next release of AR – when our world will change even faster.

June 23, 2022