Nest co-founder and iPod inventor says 'the metaverse is wrong' because you can't actually connect with people face-to-face

Nest co-founder and iPod inventor says 'the metaverse is wrong' because you can't actually connect with people face-to-face
Nest co-founder Tony Fadell.Stephen McCarthy/Getty
  • An early Apple engineer says "fuck the metaverse" because it's impersonal and "wrong."
  • He also said it's sucked talent and resources away from causes that matter, like the climate crisis.

A few tech bigwigs have voiced their skepticism about the metaverse, and now Nest co-founder Tony Fadell is piling onto the scorn

Fadell, an early Apple engineer who invented the iPod and helped invent the iPhone, told Wired in a lengthy interview, "fuck the metaverse" because of its impersonality.

"In the virtual world, the meta world, whatever you want to call it, I can't look into your eyes, I can't see your face, to build trust and a real personal connection," Fadell told Wired. "There's no dancing in the virtual world when people don't even have bodies. When I'm actually with someone, my hair stands up on the back of my neck, because my body has a sensor for that."

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Fadell also said that he's opposed to the metaverse because of the talent and resources that it and the business world's preoccupation with it have stripped from the climate crisis.

"Social mobile stole all the brains and the talent away from the green problem," Fadell said. "Now the climate crisis is worse than ever, and all those smart brains and all that money is devoted to solving a problem we don't have versus solving a problem we do."


The idea of the metaverse has gained steam in the tech world recently, especially after Facebook opted to change the name of its parent holding company to Meta, under which its main social network, Instagram, WhatsApp, and other projects are now housed.

Theoretically, we'll all interact in this digital landscape via virtual avatars with AR glasses or VR headsets strapped to our noggins. But that future is nowhere close to materializing just yet.

Fadell isn't the only tech founder or exec to speak out against the metaverse. Snap CEO Evan Spiegel said in late April that his company doesn't use the word because it's "ambiguous and hypocritical" and "people love the real world."

And Phil Libin, founder of note-taking app Evernote and current CEO of videoconference firm Mmhmm, told Insider in February that Meta's vision of the metaverse is an "old idea" that's "uncreative."