Apple CEO Tim Cook on why consumers may want a mixed reality HMD

Cook sees AR/VR as a way to empower and enhance people's communication and connection with each other.


Apple has reportedly been working on the development of a mixed reality headset which incorporates elements of augmented reality in addition to virtual reality, as opposed to focusing solely on VR. Apple is rumored to have plans to debut its mixed reality HMD later this spring at or ahead of its Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC23) in June.

While Apple is still keeping quiet on its potential mixed reality HMD, CEO Tim Cook recently opened up on the topic of why consumers would be interested in buying a product like this in an interview with GQ. To this, Cook replied that, “The idea that you could overlay the physical world with things from the digital world could greatly enhance people’s communication, people’s connection.”

Apple CEO Tim Cook shown smiling at a crowd with his hands together in a thankful gesture
© AppleInsider

Cook is then asked about statements he made several years ago in which he told The New Yorker’s Ian Parker he was skeptical of the creation of augmented reality glasses. “We always thought that glasses were not a smart move,” Cook said at the time, “from a point of view that people would not really want to wear them. They were intrusive, instead of pushing technology to the background, as we always believed.”

Cook even went so far as to say that “we always thought it would flop, and, you know, so far it has.” In the interview with GQ though, Cook laughed at this and pointed out that his thinking always evolves before pointing to a lesson taught to him by Steve Jobs.

Apple CEO Tim Cook on a black background with his hand on his chin with a thoughtful expression on his face

The full interview between Apple CEO Tim Cook and GQ is an interesting one, and delves into other interesting topics from tools like Screen Time to help encourage people put their phones down, to Cook’s announcement back in January that he’d be taking a 40 percent pay cut at his own request. To explore these subjects in addition to Cook’s thoughts on the mixed reality space, be sure to read through the full interview from GQ.

Also catch up on some of our previous coverage, including how Apple is rumored to have plans to unveil a VR headset this spring, and how Apple reportedly delayed its AR glasses in favor of mixed-reality HMD.

Senior Editor

Morgan is a writer from the frozen wastelands of Maine who enjoys metal music, kpop, horror, and indie games. They're also a Tetris fanatic who's fiercely competitive in games like Tetris 99... and all games in general. But mostly Tetris. You can follow Morgan on Twitter @Author_MShaver.

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