As a long time user and admirer of Apple’s products, I find myself in a new situation: I am not only unenthusiastic about the anticipated virtual reality headset – I’m against the whole idea. The headset sure seems like a step in the wrong direction for a company that recently has been so focused on health. In what way does a VR headset contribute to health? Mental, physical, social, whatever?
Steve Jobs was famous for using the analogy of the bicycle. Like a bicycle, a computer can enhance the natural power of a human. It’s like a bicycle for the mind. I’ve used my iPhone to help me find my destination. I’ve used my Apple Watch to help me train for athletic competitions. Bicycles.
Maybe I have poor imagination, but I can’t see a VR headset enhancing my natural power. Only tricking it. Sure, I can attend a more visceral virtual meeting. Maybe the attendees will even have legs. But it’s still a virtual meeting. Something that feels more real isn’t actually more real or healthy.
In that way, a VR headset feels more like a treadmill. You can move a lot, but never go anywhere.
It’s a treadmill for the mind.