Apple CEO Tim Cook: ‘I’m Not Really Sure the Average Person Can Tell You What the Metaverse Is’

Apple CEO Tim Cook has been touring Europe this week, sitting down for interviews with various media publications. Augmented reality has been a running theme in Cook’s discussions, and it is a topic he brought up again in an interview with Dutch publication Bright, which is part of RTL News.

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“I think AR is a profound technology that will affect everything,” Cook said, echoing comments from Italy earlier in the week. “Like I said, we are really going to look back and think about how we once lived without AR.”

Cook went on to say that it “won’t be that long” before we live in a world where we wonder how we did without augmented reality. Cook said that virtual reality also has its uses because of how immersive it is, but it is not a replacement for real life.

“It’s 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. VR is for set periods, but not a way to communicate well. So I’m not against it, but that’s how I look at it.”

On Facebook’s “metaverse,” Cook said that it’s important that people have an understanding of a product. “I’m really not sure the average person can tell you what the metaverse is,” he added. Metaverse is a word that precedes Facebook, having first been used in the sci-fi novel “Snow Crash,” but Facebook has embraced it, going as far as renaming the company “Meta.” Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg has said that the company is committed to developing a “metaverse,” aka a future digital reality.

Apple is hard at work on its own virtual and augmented reality headset that’s expected to be released in 2023, followed by AR “Apple Glasses” that could come out in 2024, but Cook has made it clear that Apple does not want to keep people from actual reality.

As he often does, Cook also spoke on the importance of programming as a universal language, and he touched on topics like climate change, recycling, and politics. Cook’s full interview can be read over at Bright using Google translate for those who do not speak Dutch.

Cook this week also spent time in London visiting AFC Richmond, home of “Ted Lasso,” Italy where he was awarded with an Honorary Degree in Innovation and International Management, and Germany, where he celebrated Oktoberfest and met up with developers.