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Fact Check: 'The Simpsons' Supposedly Predicted Apple's Vision Pro. Here's the Reality

Reddit u/adityapixel
Reddit u/adityapixel

Claim:

An episode of the animated TV series "The Simpsons" predicted the Apple Vision Pro.

Rating:

Rating: False
Rating: False

In early February 2024, Apple released the long-awaited Vision Pro headset. As Reuters reported, the headset "blends three-dimensional digital content with a view of the outside world." While some commentators claimed the device represented a "new tech dystopia," others suggested that it was predicted by the TV series "The Simpsons."

On Feb. 5, 2024, a video went viral on Reddit, with the caption "The Simpsons predicted the Apple Vision Pro." The same claim was also spread on other social media platforms such as X (formerly Twitter), YouTube, and TikTok.

The topic was also covered in the Daily Mail, New York Post, and The Independent. "The Simpsons predicted revolutionary $3,500 Apple Vision EIGHT years before fans flocked to buy newest tech and show them off in everyday life," Daily Mail headline read.

In short, although the clip really is from the series, the claim that "The Simpsons" predicted the Apple Vision Pro is false. The clip originated from "The Simpsons" Episode 2 of Season 28, “Friends and Family,” aired in October 2016 (the in-question scene starts about 20:00 in the episode).

First of all, virtual reality (VR) is not a new concept. By 2016, when the “Friends and Family” episode aired, companies such as Oculus VR had introduced their VR headsets to the market, so the concept of people using such devices was not a novel prediction by "The Simpsons." The show, known for its satirical take on societal trends and technological advancements, was merely reflecting the growing interest in VR technology that was already present at the time. Thus, attributing the anticipation of Apple's Vision Pro to "The Simpsons" series overlooks the fact that the technology was already known to the public and evolving rapidly at the time.

(Olaf Carlson looks up during a press demonstration at The Village event space in San Francisco, California, on March 15, 2016. Getty Images)

We have covered similar dubious "Simpsons" Predictions in the past. For instance, we investigated whether an episode predicted the 9/11 terrorist attacks. In September 2023, we also debunked a claim that the series predicted the Tesla Cybertruck.

Sources:

“Friends and Family.” The Simpsons, directed by Mike B. Anderson and Lance Kramer, 2 Oct. 2016.

“Friends and Family - The Simpsons (Series 28, Episode 2) - Apple TV (OM).” Apple TV, 2 Oct. 2016, https://tv.apple.com/om/episode/friends-and-family/umc.cmc.5gyk9l73m6w6rqb32aji5hue3?showId=umc.cmc.1kfo3z1jtaj8ff6wsh9cvxbwu.

“Here’s When You Can Buy Oculus’s Long-Awaited Virtual Reality Headset.” TIME, 11 June 2015, https://time.com/3918081/oculus-rift-release-date-microsoft/.

Kasprak, Alex. “‘The Simpsons’ Predicted Tesla’s Cybertruck?” Snopes, 8 Sept. 2023, https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/simpsons-predicted-cybertruck/.

Nellis, Stephen, and Dawn Chmielewski. “Vision Pro Headset Is Apple’s next Mac and TV Combined.” Reuters, 3 Feb. 2024. www.reuters.com, https://www.reuters.com/technology/vision-pro-headset-is-apples-next-mac-tv-combined-2024-02-03/.

Virtual Reality (VR) | Definition, Development, Technology, Examples, & Facts | Britannica. 1 Feb. 2024, https://www.britannica.com/technology/virtual-reality.

Wrona, Aleksandra. “‘The Simpsons’ Predicted 9/11 Attack on World Trade Center?” Snopes, 11 Sept. 2023, https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/simpsons-predicted-wtc/.