Tim Cook has been seen for the first time wearing Apple Vision Pro.
The Apple CEO is on the cover of a digital edition of Vanity Fair, for a piece called 'Why Tim Cook Is Going All In on the Apple Vision Pro'.
This is the first time any Apple executive has been seen actually wearing the company's "spatial computer", which was first announced in June.
The article includes some interesting information about the development of Vision Pro. It reveals that Cook first tried a demo of an early prototype "maybe six, seven, or even eight" years ago (oddly vague).
The prototype was very primitive, with Cook describing it as “a monster” and “an apparatus” more than a headset, but nonetheless, the demo was apparently compelling enough to convince him to give the team behind it the resources to make it Apple's next major product category.
Here's the segment of the Vanity Fair piece describing Cook's demo:
Cook’s told to take a seat, and this massive, monstrous machine is placed around his face. It’s crude, like a giant box, and it’s got screens in it, half a dozen of them layered on top of each other, and cameras sticking out like whiskers.
“You weren’t really wearing it at that time,” he tells me. “It wasn’t wearable by any means of the imagination.” And it’s whirring, with big fans—a steady, deep humming sound—on both sides of his face. And this apparatus has these wires coming out of it that sinuate all over the floor and stretch into another room, where they’re connected to a supercomputer, and then buttons are pressed and lights go on and the CPU and GPU start pulsating at billions of cycles per second and…Tim Cook is on the moon!
He’s sitting right there. On the fucking moon! With Buzz Aldrin and Neil Armstrong of Apollo 11, he looks around and there’s the ghostly luminescence of ancient dust under a black, star-studded sky. It’s magnificent. It’s amazing. There, in the distance, is the earth. The blue dot. Where all of this magic is happening.
But Cook’s not just on the moon. He’s also in that secret room. In that secret building. And he can see Rockwell and other Apple employees, and he can see his own hands. And he knows right then and there what this all means. Like the universe is telling him something. He knows that this is the future of computing and entertainment and apps and memories, and that this crude apparatus wrapped around his head will change everything. He knows Apple has to make this thing its next product category.
The challenge, the article explains, was taking this demo that required "a supercomputer in another room, and fans and multiple screens" and miniaturizing it into a headset form factor. Years later, that's what's arriving tomorrow as Apple Vision Pro.