Why the Apple Vision Pro Spells a Dystopian Future

13 Feb 2024

Whether you're interested in it or not, it seems like there's just no escaping VR (virtual reality), even more so now with the advent of the new Apple Vision Pro. As news broke out of the latest Apple product to hit the market at a whopping $3500, - not surprising for a company notorious for charging exorbitant prices for all their products - everyone from influencers to Twitter users, to journalists worldwide just cannot stop posting about their experiences.
However, if you're anything like me - a tad skeptical of this AR, VR, AI and the long lasting impacts on society at large - you can already foresee an Orwellian future coming true. And it's truly scary.

The Vision Pro uses what's known as "passthrough" video (cameras and other sensors that capture imagery of the outside world and reproduce it inside the device). The synthetic environment is expertly crafted to make to look like the real one, with Apple apps and other non-real elements floating in front of it. Apple and Meta are hoping that this virtual world will be so compelling that you won't just visit - they're hoping you'll live there, and therein lies the trouble.

The trouble is that this kind of technology nudges us closer to a reality where our every glance is monetized, and our privacy is all but gone. It’s as if Orwell’s “1984” was a cautionary tale about a future where we willingly strap surveillance devices to our faces. It’s a stark reminder that the tools designed to liberate us can also, if we’re not careful, become the chains that bind us.

Apart from the privacy issue, a mainstream adoption and usage of Apple Vision Pro will dramatically change our daily landscape yet again. From people hiding behind the screens of their mobile phones, to not being able to see another person's eyes because they are covered by these glasses, will be an epic change and a big step further into the digital world and less for real world human interaction.

As much as this type of technology promises to "enhance our reality," they also create a real risk of trapping us in a cycle of consumption and passivity, where we float through life in our comfortable, self-imposed prisons. It’s a future where our physical and emotional wellbeing is outsourced to robots, and where the line between being served and being enslaved by technology becomes disturbingly blurred.

What are your thoughts? Let me know in the comments!

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1 Comment

The dystopia that everyone imagines always is predicate on us blindly walking into it. I don't think we will. As disengaged we are at times (hours spent playing immerse video games is at ATHs...) we're not total idiots. I feel like newer generations aren't as easily coerced as older generations were. It's why conservative movements skew so old. Only older people want the world to go backwards. They're also less likely to question people in power. Newer generations aren't the same types of sheep.
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