Tim Cook Expresses His Reservations About The ‘Metaverse’

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Tim Cook Expresses His Reservations About The 'Metaverse'
Apple CEO, Tim Cook

While Meta funnels billions into CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s ideas for the metaverse, Apple CEO Tim Cook thinks people don’t know what a metaverse is, and therefore couldn’t spend time living their lives inside of it.

Apple has shown interest in VR and AR systems, but Apple’s CEO doesn’t believe the average person understands what the metaverse is.

“I always think it’s important that people understand what something is,” Cook told Dutch publication Bright (via Google Translate). “And I’m really not sure the average person can tell you what the metaverse is.” In other words, despite persistent reports of Apple’s interest in building all manner of AR and VR hardware, Cook isn’t ready to claim that the company is working towards any so-called “metaverse.”

Mark Zuckerberg has a different view. Earlier this year, the Meta CEO told his employees that the company is in a “very deep, philosophical competition” with Apple to build the metaverse. “This is a competition of philosophies and ideas, where they believe that by doing everything themselves and tightly integrating that they build a better consumer experience,” Zuckerberg said, contrasting what he says is Apple’s closed approach with Meta’s more interoperable development.

Cook also expressed skepticism that people will want to spend extended periods of time in VR in the future. “[VR is] something you can really immerse yourself in. And that can be used in a good way. But I don’t think you want to live your whole life that way,” he told Bright. “VR is for set periods, but not a way to communicate well.”

Cook’s comment make him the latest high profile CEO to express skepticism about the metaverse. The company avoids using the term because it is ambiguous and hypothetical, however, if someone were to ask a room full of people to define the metaverse they would all give different definitions.

Cook, Spiegel, Cook and Amazon are all investing in augmented reality and metaverse technology. Cook is a big proponent of the usage of AR and Apple may announce a headset to combine both AR and VR by 2023. Snap released its first pair of AR glasses that millions use their app through and Amazon has released several AR applications in the past.

Meta will release its first pair of augmented reality glasses in 2024, but they will only be available to developers at first.


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