Where is Technology Going?

Apple just introduced Apple Vision Pro, and it’s as revolutionary as anything we’ve ever seen. In short, it’s a set of goggles that can immerse you in a totally new environment, and it makes Apple’s innovations like the mouse, click wheel (iPod,) and multi-touch (iPhone) seem primitive by comparison. See for yourself how immersive it is, and then step back into reality. Will technology be a tool or a controlling force?

The technical term for Apple’s new technology is spatial computing, and their promotional video will give you a sensual rush. The technology behind the mouse, iPod, and iPhone changed how we looked at computing and forced other technology companies to step up their games, too. In our eyes, Apple has upped the ante again with a quantum leap in technology that will open unimaginable vistas to the public – once we get over the $3,499 price tag and once the price drops.

So what, in essence, is spatial computing? In this case, using Apple Vision goggles and technology enables you to use your eyes, hands and even thoughts to create a screen in front of you that’s as big as you want it to be (larger than life, if you like) and open and use apps as you would from an iPhone, iPad, or Mac computer.

While that might be great for editing photos or videos or really zooming in on a map or satellite view of a place you’re going to visit, just think of what it would be like to watch a movie or sporting event in your kitchen or on an airplane. It can become a totally immersive experience. Likewise, think of what it can do for teams of surgeons or infrastructure repair technicians who need the same detailed visual information to complete delicate tasks in tight places. They can take this technology right to where they’re working.

One of the features that separates Apple Vision from VR (virtual reality) goggles is that you’ll still be able to see the space you physically inhabit, such as the room you’re in, and people will be able to see you. That helps for collaborative efforts professionally, and it doesn’t seem as isolating on a personal level.

However, it’s yet another move away from face-to-face human interaction, and that’s what’s bothering us. We already sit in rooms together, each of us busy with our cell phones. If we’re talking about something, at least one of us is consulting the internet to answer a question, provide more information, or order a pizza for delivery. The smartphone is an extension of each of us.

Where will it go with Apple Vision? Will we sit in the same room – and even look at the same things – but still be in our own little VR cocoons? Will we sit in conference rooms and look at the same presentation through our own set of goggles? That will totally defeat the benefits of eye contact and body language in learning some fine points that go into the decision-making process.

We know that’s taking an extreme view, but technology seems to remove more and more human interaction from every transaction. How often have you called a business’s customer service department and gone through exasperating menus before getting a human being to help you solve a problem in a few short minutes? More automation, it seems, makes our experiences more complicated and time-consuming.

Personally, I don’t like where we’re heading with technology. AI and chats don’t do it for me. We still need human interaction. What are your thoughts? Leave a comment.