Given that all eyes are on Elon Musk and his Twitter shenanigans this week, you’d be forgiven for not paying much attention to Mark Zuckberg. Nevertheless, the Meta CEO has kept his Sauronesque gaze on his metaverse machinations. The problem is, they probably won’t bloom anytime soon.
Alex Heath of The Verge detailed how Zuckerberg’s augmented reality ambitions relate to reality. Meta has sunk billions into its metaverse division, but the hardware needed to move it forward — namely, meta-created AR glasses — may still be years away. Right now, the company’s roadmap sets the release of Meta’s AR goggles in 2024, but as Heath explains, the project has already been delayed a few times, so specs may not come out until later.
It’s another complication in Meta’s increasingly cluttered vision of a VR world. Despite Zuckerberg’s claims that the metaverse will be an open haven for creators and participants, the company recently turned its necks when details emerged that it would earn nearly half of its revenue from sales within its Horizon Worlds platform. It’s a move that could spark a battle over fees similar to those between Apple and Epic Games, and one that raises the question of how free Meta will let its virtual empire be.
Feast your eyes on the rest of this week’s gadget news.
If you’re in the market for a new MacBook, you may have to wait a few more months. According to a report by Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman, the latest problems in Apple’s supply chain stem from China’s increasingly strict Covid lockdowns. The delays mainly affect MacBook Pros, which are being postponed until the end of May and the end of June.
For now, other Apple products have not suffered any delays. But Pegatron, a manufacturing company in China that assembles iPhones, closed facilities earlier this week amid a Covid outbreak.
Peloton shifts towards subscriptions
It’s been a tumultuous few months for Peloton. Now, the fitness equipment and fitness evangelism provider says it will increase the price of its subscription service on June 1. Monthly membership fees will increase from $39 to $44 in the US and Canada ($49 to $55 in Canada). Pricing elsewhere isn’t changing, as Peloton says it’s “continuing to build our library of content for our global audience.”
Peloton also slashed the prices of its hardware staples, the bike and tread, by up to $500. It’s an almost inevitable move, after the company bet big on the home workout trend, producing more units than people were willing to buy. .
As with Peloton’s new guide, it’s an effort to focus the company’s efforts on something it hopes will keep its current subscribers hooked.
On Monday, smart speaker manufacturer Sonos announced that the audio company has bought Mayht. The Dutch startup specializes in audio transducers: the technology that converts electrical signals into the physical sound waves that pump out of your speakers. Mayht’s great innovation is that it has developed a way to pack more audio oomph into a smaller speaker design. The company showed off its Heartmotion technology at CES earlier this year. The company even appealed to its prospective buyer, saying Mayht technology could squeeze the bombastic sound quality of a Sonos One into the tiny form factor of an Echo Dot. Mayht’s loudspeaker technology is still in the prototype stage. Still, that proof of concept — and possibly the comparison to its products — clearly interested Sonos enough to spend more than $100 million on its Mayht acquisition.
Do you feel like you are being watched? If you’re on the internet, you probably are. Web browsers certainly love to suck up your user data as you bounce between sites. But now privacy-focused company DuckDuckGo offers an alternative browser that doesn’t allow user tracking.
In this week’s Gadget Lab podcast, WIRED senior writer Matt Burgess joins the show to talk about taking control of your web surfing.
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