Today, Cook and a million others are betting that a combination of these two technologies will become the next major stage of the Internet. Apple, Meta, Microsoft, and Snap are heading toward a future where we wear computers on our heads for interactions that fuse physical and digital lives. (You and Mark Zuckerberg could call it the metaverse. I wouldn’t.)
Given the uneven track record of technologists in predicting the digital revolution, it’s worth considering why their claims haven’t come out yet — and whether they’re right this time.
There are two ways to look at the predictions of laptops and immersive digital worlds over the past decade. The first is that all previous inventions were necessary steps on the way to something great.
People laughed at Google Glass after the company released a beta version of the computer headset in 2013, but the glasses would have been a staple. Computer chips, software, cameras, and microphones have improved so much since then that digital headphones may soon become less obtrusive and more useful.
Likewise, Pokémon Go, virtual reality video games, and new lipstick-finding apps via augmented reality may not be available to everyone, but the technologies have helped sharpen ideas and have some people excited about the prospects for more engaging digital experiences.
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