The virtual world of The Metaverse may be chased by Mark Zuckerberg’s Meta, but iPhone company Apple have a different idea. Instead of a VR closed-off virtual world, the accessible tech company wants widespread augmented reality to enhance everyday life.
Speaking to Dutch media outlet Bright, Apple CEO Tim Cook revealed that the company is betting on AR to take centre stage. After all, who would choose a full headset over a pair of smart glasses?
Widespread Augmented Reality is the future
In the interview, Cook explained the reasoning behind Apple’s dissatisfaction with the Metaverse tech trend. Essentially, as the general public can’t describe wholesale what the virtual world is, along with its purpose, it’s not suited for general appeal.
“I always think it’s important that people understand what something is. I’m really not sure the average person can tell you what the metaverse is,” Cook told the outlet.
Furthermore, as fun as VR can be for games, its immersion can still be isolating. With employers looking to stuff employees inside the virtual world, Cook explained that the isolatory nature of VR metaverses is oppressive.
Cook explained: “I don’t think you want to live your whole life that way. VR is for regular periods, but not a way to communicate well.”
With this in mind, Cook explained that widespread augmented reality is not only the safer bet for manufacturers, but also for technological advancement. While VR takes humans out of reality, AR adds onto it, similar to a smartphone.
The fears of AR
While mainstream Augmented Reality is more desirable than VR, that doesn’t make it without issue. AR experts have been wary of how the technology will be used by mainstream companies, and how it will effect the general public.
Augmented Reality developer Louis Rosenberg, the father of AR, has expressed fears about the technology’s modern presence. In fact, the creator explained that it could even “destroy” reality.
“In an augmented world, simply walking down the street will become a wild amalgamation of the physical and the virtual, merged so convincingly that the boundaries will disappear in our minds,” Rosenberg said. “Our surroundings will become filled with persons, places, objects, and activities that don’t actually exist, and yet they will seem deeply authentic to us.”
Augmented reality is less dystopian than constant VR. However, it still has the potential to cause widespread damage by if done poorly.