Tim Cook Continues to Sing the Praises of Augmented Reality


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When it comes to reading the tea leaves, it would seem that augmented reality (AR) is a big area of interest for Apple.

That’s only made more apparent by the fact that Apple’s CEO, Tim Cook, continues to praise the technology whenever he gets the chance. In an interview dating back to October of last year, which is just one of many instances where Cook has spoken positively on AR, he called the technology “profound,” and believes that it’s a technology that doesn’t have to limit “human contact,” in a way that something like virtual reality (VR) inherently does.

Now, in a wide ranging interview with The Independent, Cook offers a few more notes of praise for augmented reality, saying that he’s excited about it, and echoing his belief that AR isn’t limited because it closes the world off like VR:

“I’m excited about Augmented Reality because unlike Virtual Reality which closes the world out, AR allows individuals to be present in the world but hopefully allows an improvement on what’s happening presently. Most people don’t want to lock themselves out from the world for a long period of time and today you can’t do that because you get sick from it. With AR you can, not be engrossed in something, but have it be a part of your world, of your conversation. That has resonance.”

Augmented reality is seen as another major push for companies moving forward, with the likes of Microsoft leading the way with its HoloLens headset. There have been other, even more popular instances where AR has been adopted by millions: Pokémon GO. The AR-based title puts digital pocket monsters out in the real world, and its adoption was massive.

Cook’s opining on AR makes it easy to assume that the company is working on something related to augmented reality. What that is, however, remains to be seen. There have been suggestions and rumors that the company is building an AR headset, or that they could launch “smart glasses” with AR functionality built into them — similar to Google Glass.

If that single quote isn’t enough to frame Cook’s jubilance regarding augmented reality, he actually goes a little further, and relates the technology to the smartphone in general. He points out that the iPhone “is for everyone,” and that it doesn’t have to be shoehorned into a demographic. He views AR in the same way: That it can be adopted by everyone, utilized in different ways, and it doesn’t have to mean we cut the rest of the world off while we use it:

“I regard it as a big idea like the smartphone. The smartphone is for everyone, we don’t have to think the iPhone is about a certain demographic, or country or vertical market: it’s for everyone. I think AR is that big, it’s huge. I get excited because of the things that could be done that could improve a lot of lives. And be entertaining. I view AR like I view the silicon here in my iPhone, it’s not a product per se, it’s a core technology. But there are things to discover before that technology is good enough for the mainstream. I do think there can be a lot of things that really help people out in daily life, real-life things, that’s why I get so excited about it.”

If Apple is indeed working on something AR-related, are you looking forward to seeing what it is?

[via The Independent]

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