Tim Cook experienced an Apple Vision Pro prototype nearly eight years ago — it was a "monster"

Apple CEO Tim Cook
(Image credit: Apple)

Tim Cook has given huge insight into the development of Apple Vision Pro, retelling his experience of using a prototype eight years ago.

In an interview for the cover of Vanity Fair, the Apple CEO wore the brand new Vision Pro headset for the first time while talking about the history and future of the product.

“The first time Tim Cook experienced the Apple Vision Pro, it wasn’t called the Apple Vision Pro. It was years ago; maybe six, seven, or even eight. Before the company built Apple Park.”

Cook tells journalist Nick Bolton about the first time he tried the Vision Pro prototype at “Mariani 1, a nondescript low-rise building on the edge of the old Infinite Loop campus with blacked-out windows.” Bolton adds, “This place is so secret, it’s known as one of Apple’s “black ops” facilities. Nearly all of the thousands of employees who work at Apple have never set foot inside one. There are multiple layers of doors that lock behind and in front of you.”

A whole room becomes a headset

Cook describes the prototype he saw all those years ago as a “monster” that looks like a giant box with screens in it. At that time, the Vision Pro wasn’t a wearable headset “by any means of the imagination.”

The Vision Pro described from this experience is connected to a massive supercomputer with “big fans” that create “a steady, deep humming sound.” It’s impressive to think about how such a massive prototype has gone from needing nearly a whole room to run to being squeezed into a wearable headset.

“I’ve known for years we would get here,” Cook says,  “I didn’t know when, but I knew that we would arrive here.”

The Apple Vision Pro is available now. Stay tuned to iMore to learn more about Apple’s first foray into the world of spatial computing.

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John-Anthony Disotto
How To Editor

John-Anthony Disotto is the How To Editor of iMore, ensuring you can get the most from your Apple products and helping fix things when your technology isn’t behaving itself. Living in Scotland, where he worked for Apple as a technician focused on iOS and iPhone repairs at the Genius Bar, John-Anthony has used the Apple ecosystem for over a decade and prides himself in his ability to complete his Apple Watch activity rings. John-Anthony has previously worked in editorial for collectable TCG websites and graduated from The University of Strathclyde where he won the Scottish Student Journalism Award for Website of the Year as Editor-in-Chief of his university paper. He is also an avid film geek, having previously written film reviews and received the Edinburgh International Film Festival Student Critics award in 2019.  John-Anthony also loves to tinker with other non-Apple technology and enjoys playing around with game emulation and Linux on his Steam Deck.

In his spare time, John-Anthony can be found watching any sport under the sun from football to darts, taking the term “Lego house” far too literally as he runs out of space to display any more plastic bricks, or chilling on the couch with his French Bulldog, Kermit.