The Apple effect? Consumer searches for VR skyrockets 300% after Vision Pro reveal

In the wake of Apple announcing the impending launch of its first spatial computer headset, online searches for the technology saw a global boom, strengthening the notion that mixed reality may soon become a viable channel for performance marketing.

Following Apple’s launch of Apple Vision Pro earlier this week - it’s first spatial computer that blends digital technology with the physical world - online interest in virtual (VR), mixed (MR) and augmented reality (AR) went into overdrive.

Following the product announcement on June 5th, analysis of Google search data revealed that online searches for ‘VR’, ‘mixed reality’ and ‘augmented reality’ increased 300%, 1,130% and 545% respectively.

Dramatic spikes in users searching to ‘buy Apple stock’ also occurred over the seven days following the announcement, increasing 1,482% worldwide.

For marketers, this news should prompt even more serious consideration of the potential benefits of preparing to use mixed reality as a performance channel as customers access new ways to interact with products, services and media in a blended world of physical and digital reality.

Experts have already expressed real optimism that the tech has the capability to offer brands the opportunity to reach audiences across new touchpoints and digital channels and this news affirms that perhaps Apple is the company capable of finally ushering this technology into the mainstream.

“Could start to tip the balance”

A spokesperson from Digital Adoption, the platform that conducted the analysis, believes this may be the case: “the latest announcement from Apple could start to tip the balance and encourage more users to adopt this kind of advanced tech into their homes and working lives.”

James Mortimer, Paid Social Director at iCrossing said the potential for Apple’s new launch to drive more competition in the space could also be what drives interest from consumers.

He said: “These are bold claims but with Meta fuelling over $12 billion a year into their own headset and VR products there is going to be serious competition that could lead to innovation that consumers buy into.

“If that happens then there will be a huge shift in how paid media operates. In the same way spend and ad formats shifted from being focused on desktop to becoming mobile first in the mid 2010's we could see a shift from mobile to spatial computing.

The immediate future remains the same

Jed Just, Creative Technology Lead at SharpEnd, added that although this new headset represents an exciting prospect for consumers and advertisers alike, the timeline for significant change shouldn’t have the near future as a possibility - Vision Pro itself won’t hit store shelves until next year.

He added: “Undoubtedly, Apple's new interest in the space will bring renewed attention from different players, but it's not coming up with any fundamental new use cases for the technology. In the short to mid-term, smartphones and handheld devices will remain the most accessible way to engage with this content, more so than a headset.

“The distinction will be if Apple is able to support the already established open web standards for browser-based mixed reality and webAR, rather than applying an App Store model to the distribution of AR content.”