Many companies, including Meta, formerly known as Facebook, are making major bets on the metaverse.
“I always think it’s important that people understand what something is,” the Apple CEO told Dutch publication Bright on Friday. “And I’m really not sure the average person can tell you what the metaverse is.”
The average person might not be able to tell you what the metaverse is, but that hasn’t stopped Meta co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg from pouring at least $10 billion into his virtual-reality vision in 2021 alone, per The Verge.
Generally, the “metaverse” refers to virtual reality (VR) platforms where people can “interact, work, shop and play games using immersive technology like a virtual-reality headset,” according to CNBC.
Although these worlds already exist to some extent, many major tech players want to develop the hardware and software that allow people to spend more time and money in the metaverse.
But some, including Cook, believe that augmented reality (AR) shows more promise than the metaverse. AR involves superimposing virtual elements and images onto the real world.
Cook went so far as to tell Bright that AR “will go much, much further” than its uses today, and Apple is reportedly developing an AR/VR headset that could launch in 2023, per Bloomberg.
“I think AR is a profound technology that will affect everything,” Cook says. “Imagine suddenly being able to teach with AR and demonstrate things that way. Or medically, and so on. Like I said, we are really going to look back and think about how we once lived without AR.”