WIRED sat down with West to sift fantasy from reality and pin down what XR is actually good at. And it may come as a surprise that a lot of it relies on collecting a lot of data. The following interview is a transcript of our conversation, lightly edited for clarity and length.
WIRED: So let’s start with sort of an ontological question. There’s been this idea that we’ll be in or go to the metaverse, or several metaverses, which tech companies posit will exist in VR or AR. Do you see VR and AR as being more of a tool or a destination?
Timoni West: That’s a great question. I would actually say neither. I see XR as one of the many different mediums you could choose to work in. For example, we actually have an AR mobile companion app [in beta] that allows you to scan a space and gray box it out, put down objects, automatically tag things. So I’m using AR to do the things that AR is best for. I’ll use VR to do the things that VR is best for, like presence, being able to meet together, sculpt, or do anything that’s, you know, sort of intrinsically 3D.