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

Apple CEO Tim Cook is touring Europe this week to conduct interviews with various media publications. Augmented reality is a recurring theme in Cook’s discussions, and it’s a topic he brought up again in an interview with the Dutch publication Brightwhich is part of RTL News.


“I think AR is a profound technology that will affect everything,” Cook said, echoing comments from Italy earlier this week. “Like I said, we’re 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 virtual reality also has its uses because of how immersive it is, but it’s not a substitute 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 certain periods, but not a way to communicate well. I So I’m not against it, but that’s how I look at it.”

In Facebook’s “metaverse,” Cook said it’s important for people to understand 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, which was first used in the sci-fi novel “Snow Crash,” but Facebook has embraced it, even going so far as to call the company “Meta.” Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg has said the company is committed to developing a “metaverse,” or a future digital reality.

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Apple is working hard on its own virtual and augmented reality headset that is expected to be released in 2023, followed by AR “Apple Glasses” that could be released in 2024, but Cook has made it clear that Apple doesn’t want people of actual reality.

As he often does, Cook also spoke about the importance of programming as a universal language, touching on topics such as climate change, recycling and politics. Cook’s full interview can be read on Bright with Google translate for those who don’t speak Dutch.

Cook also spent time in London this week to visit AFC Richmond, home of “Ted Lasso”, Italy, where he received an honorary doctorate in innovation and international management, and Germany, where he celebrated Oktoberfest and met developers.

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