The AtlanticThe Atlantic

The age of goggles has arrived

By Ian Bogost

06 Jun 2023 · 11 min read

informed Summary

  1. Apple's Vision Pro headset is a "wearable, spatial computer" with a "majestic viewing experience," according to Apple's pitch.

“Vision Pro feels familiar, yet it’s entirely new.” That’s how Apple’s CEO, Tim Cook, introduced the company’s new computer goggles at the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference on Monday. The Vision Pro headset, which resembles a glass scuba mask with a fabric head strap, seamlessly blends the real and digital worlds, Cook said. But the product’s name, which could just as easily describe a brand of contact-lens solution, hints at a challenge. Familiar yet entirely new, natural but augmented: If goggles really are the future of computing, they will have to overcome a bevy of conflicting sentiments.

As you might expect, Apple’s product is slick. The curved exterior looks 1980s-Bond-villain cool, and can light up to show the wearer’s eyes inside when someone is nearby. The pitch—that it’s a “wearable, spatial computer” with a “majestic viewing experience” in which “your surroundings become an infinite canvas”—is just as polished and seductive: Perhaps this headset represents the future.

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