And for at least 10 years, those companies have been wrong.
Silicon Valley has collectively spent at least tens of billions of dollars developing devices like the $3,499 Vision Pro that Apple introduced on Monday and Meta’s line of virtual reality goggles called Quest. And face computers are still not a thing.
Last year, Americans bought more TV antennas than computers to wear on our faces, according to sales figures shared by the research firm IDC and the TV news and entertainment company E.W. Scripps.
To be fair, TV antennas are way cheaper than the Vision Pro. It’s still not great that an accessory for a slowly shrinking 20th century technology, the television, is outselling what is supposed to be a gateway technology to a more immersive 21st century internet.
Your lack of interest so far in face computers is no big deal — but only if today’s devices prove to be a building block to a future in which something like a face computer replaces your smartphone as the primary way you use the internet.
Those are the stakes here. Apple, Meta, Snap, Microsoft and other companies working on face computers want you to believe that those devices will usher in a transformative combination of the reality around you and the digital world that is today confined to screens. (Mark Zuckerberg calls this blend of your life and digital life the “metaverse.” I’ll skip that term.)
So here are two questions you have to ask yourself now and for years to come:
- Can you look past the dorky designs, outrageous prices and current technical limitations of today’s face computers like the Vision Pro and instead imagine where future generations of face computers might take you?
- And is this potential future better than the immersive digital experiences you already have with your phone, computer or other devices?
Do spreadsheets make you feel inspired?
Lots of people have focused on the technical shortcomings of face…