It is a misconception that most technology companies aim to bring humanity into the virtual world, moving it further and further away from the real world. Apple CEO Tim Cook has long been a proponent of augmented reality (AR) over virtual one, arguing that AR has the potential to bring people closer together rather than isolate them, Developer Tech writes.
In a recent GQ profile, Cook reaffirmed his belief that incorporating digital elements into the real world can improve communication and connection between people.
He stressed that AR should be used to bring digital elements into the real world, not to bring people into digital spaces. He still maintains his view that people should not be encouraged to “live their whole lives” in a virtual world.
The vision laid out by Cook in the profile coincides with the launch of Apple’s new mixed reality headset, which will reportedly cost around $3,000 and prioritize “collaborative presence.”
The headsets will allow users to see and interact with digital elements in the real world. Cook explained to GQ that Apple is in no rush to develop the headset because the company wants to control the underlying technology to ensure innovation.
Cook also highlighted Apple’s commitment to environmental sustainability and its efforts to help people have better relationships with technology.
“My philosophy is that if you’re looking at the phone more than you’re looking into someone’s eyes, you’re doing something wrong.”
In the age of mixed reality, Apple aims to provide tools to help people spend more time in the real world and do more real things instead of spending their lives in the virtual world.
The tech giant has the mission and desire to differentiate itself from other tech companies that prioritize time spent staring at a phone or computer screen and digital experiences over real-world interaction. The company’s upcoming mixed-reality headset represents a significant opportunity for Apple to demonstrate how technology can enhance, not diminish, human connections.
Apple was expected to announce its mixed reality headset at this year’s WWDC conference. However, according to some reports, the company may not be ready for that just yet, and employees have expressed concern about compromises with the hardware and that the economic environment could lead to muted reception rather than the “iPhone moment” Apple is hoping for.
Apple is working on a second headset project that is designed solely for AR and will be similar to standard glasses that a user can wear throughout their day to complement the world around them. This project is still in its early stages and is expected to take at least a few years before it becomes technologically feasible.