Tuesday’s Apple event wasn’t just noteworthy because it marked the 10th anniversary of the iPhone. It was also the first time the company let outsiders visit its new corporate campus in Cupertino, Calif. — or at least part of it.
The main office building, shaped like a ring and meant to eventually house 13,000 employees, is still under construction, and the company’s ushers made sure that press didn’t come too close to the building. Journalists did get to see the Steve Jobs Theater, which the company used to introduce the new iPhone 8 and iPhone X models.
Also open to the press, and in the future to the public, was Apple’s new visitor center, which houses an Apple store as well as a cafe and a rooftop observation center.
In the visitor center, the company also exhibited a model of the entire campus, with a twist: Visitors could use iPads to explore the model in augmented reality, overlaying green spaces, streets, and buildings — complete with the ability to switch from morning sunlight to nighttime. The AR exploration even made it possible to open the roof of some buildings, and visualize the flow of air and electricity on the energy-efficient office complex.