The Future of Virtual Spaces: A Deep Dive into Apple vs. Meta’s VR/AR Showdown

Saranga Pagadala
4 min readFeb 8, 2024


Whaaaatss Up!

Let’s talk about a clash of titans shaping the future right under our noses. Imagine Apple and Meta arm-wrestling for the throne of virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) domains. This isn’t just about who gets the bragging rights; it’s about setting the course for how we’ll interact with the digital worlds in ways we’ve only dreamed of through movies and shows like Black Mirror. So, why should you care? Well, if you’re into tech, real estate, or just fascinated by future-forward innovations, this might be worth your attention.

Meta’s Leap into VR/AR

In 2014, Meta acquired Oculus VR for $2 billion! While many considered it a pricey shopping spree, it was a statement of intent. An intent to change the way we apply and interact with technology. Since then, Meta has been on a mission, rolling out Oculus Rift and Quest models that have pushed the envelope of immersive experiences. They’ve poured bucketloads of cash into this venture — think in the neighborhood of tens of billions. Zuckerberg sees VR/AR as more than gadgets they can sell. Instead, they are trying to build the infrastructure to mesh the digital and physical worlds like never before. Only to get this far, HAHA!

But I promise there is hope! Check out what Apple has been up to…

Apple’s Strategy: Playing the Long Game

Apple, on the other hand, has strategically been playing this game quietly for over a decade. They’ve taken a different path, weaving AR capabilities into the fabric of their existing ecosystem. IPhones, iPads, Macs, Apple watches, and Airpods all have different features that the Vision Pro uses to create a holistic experience. Towards the latter half of the decade, they come out with ARKit! Launched in 2017, it was Apple’s way of getting millions of iPhone and iPad users acquainted with AR, setting the stage for bigger things. Fast forward to now, and they’ve dropped the Vision Pro headset — a piece of tech that’s as much about style as it is about substance. It’s Apple’s way of saying, “We’re serious about this,” merging their knack for design with groundbreaking tech.

Why Is Now Prime Time for AR/VR?

You might wonder, “What’s different now?” For starters, the tech is better, cheaper, and more accessible. Consumer appetite for immersive experiences has skyrocketed, partly thanks to the pandemic pushing us towards virtual ways of connecting. The timing’s ripe for VR/AR to move from niche to mainstream, transforming everything from gaming to remote work.

Apple is making it enticing for developers to dive into AR/VR, rolling out tools like ARKit, RealityKit, and Reality Composer. ARKit, for instance, is a goldmine for developers, packed with features that make creating AR apps quick. Think face tracking, motion capture, and environment blending — stuff that used to be the stuff of sci-fi. This arsenal of tools lowers the entry barrier for devs, opening up a playground of possibilities for creating apps that can change how we live, work, and play.

VR/AR’s Real Estate Revolution

Here at RealMe In (, we have been researching applications for these tools in the real estate sector. This sector is ripe for a VR/AR adoption. Imagine browsing homes through virtual tours that feel so real you’d swear you’re there. Using AR to visualize how that sofa looks in your living room before buying it. This isn’t just convenient; it’s a game-changer, especially in today’s fast-paced market. For real estate tech companies, this is a golden era. We’re talking about a multi-trillion-dollar global market getting a tech facelift, offering immersive experiences that could make property buying and selling as easy as a few clicks. Here’s where it gets interesting. The VR/AR space has seen investments pouring in like never before. Meta’s billions in spending are just the tip of the iceberg. The global AR/VR market is expected to explode in the coming years, with forecasts suggesting it could hit upwards of $450.2 billion by 2030, according to Statista. The potential is staggering, with virtual tours and AR staging becoming increasingly mainstream, driving efficiency and engagement in property transactions.

Beyond Real Estate

With RealMe In, we want to push beyond real estate. We started working with Architects and interior designers. We saw use cases in high-ticket value product markets such as the automotive industry, education space, jewelry industry, and other consumer products. This face-off between Apple and Meta is just the beginning of a future where digital and physical realities intertwine. For developers, it’s a call to action — a chance to shape this new world with tools that were once in the realm of fantasy.

Check out:


  • Oculus VR Acquisition by Meta (2014)
  • ARKit Introduction by Apple (2017)
  • Statista Report on AR/VR Market Forecast (2022)
  • Real Estate Tech Innovations and Market Size