"What does it say about a device when a CEO refuses to use it on launch day?"

Dorky Goggles

Apple launched its next big thing, a scuba goggles-like mixed-reality headset called Vision Pro, with soaring music and rapturous speeches during a flashy event on Monday.

But avid Apple watchers noticed that the company execs were never seen, let alone photographed, wearing the device, leading to speculation on social media that they were embarrassed to be seen with an odd-looking pair of animated eyes, a bizarre feature of the new headset.

Models in the company's presentation video were shown extensively wearing the $3,499 headset. In a segment for "Good Morning America" earlier today, Apple CEO Tim Cook presented the odd-looking googles to co-host Robin Roberts, who took them for a spin — but curiously, Cook never put them on himself.

"Unless I missed something, it is very curious to me why there are no photos of Tim Cook or other Apple executives actually wearing the Vision Pro," tweeted Apple reporter and Bloomberg correspondent Mark Gurman. "If that is indeed true, that was of course a calculated decision. The question is why?"

It's a puzzling choice, especially given the fact that late Apple co-founder Steve Jobs never shied away from demoing Apple's latest and greatest products live on stage.

"Still can’t believe Tim Cook did not wear the Vision Pro yesterday," CNBC contributor Alex Kantrowitz tweeted. "What does it say about a device when a CEO refuses to use it on launch day?"

Meme Machine

Apple watchers speculated that company executives may not want to be fodder for memes and the subject of mockery.

"For sure a calculated move," Gurman added in a follow-up. "There is no reason other than meme control for Tim Cook to be standing next to the biggest product of his tenure rather than wearing."

"In fact, it just looks strange to not be wearing it," he wrote.

There's some precedent when it comes to tech execs being mocked for pushing VR experiences that make use of bulky headsets. Meta-formerly-Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has fallen to merciless teasing on the internet, such as the time when he walked into a room full of people wearing VR goggles.

Others suggested Apple may be distancing itself from that kind of imagery by not having its execs demo its new headset.

"There may be nothing worse for AR/VR than the persistent, nagging memory of Zuckerberg wearing a headset," Will Price, co-founder of text encryption company Pretty Good Privacy, tweeted. "It has almost single-handedly relegated the whole technology to the trash."

"Whether Apple can save it seems possible now, but avoiding the Zuckerberg imagery is critical," he added.

More on Apple: Apple’s Bizarre Headset Has Front-Facing Screen Showing User’s Eyes

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