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Apple’s Tim Cook on VR: “I don’t think it’s a niche. It’s really cool…”

by Ian Hamilton • January 26th, 2016

Apple CEO Tim Cook answered a question related to virtual reality in the company’s quarterly earnings call, offering what is the clearest indication yet the iPhone maker is interested in VR. That said, Apple executives are masters of not giving anything away. Listening to Cook saying these words, he actually sounds relatively unenthusiastic. If you read the words, though, it sounds like a huge endorsement:

“I don’t think it’s a niche,” Cook said. “It’s really cool and has some interesting applications.”

This is to my knowledge the first time someone has gotten a VR-related comment out of the CEO of Apple. It is likely to be the subject of much debate in the coming months as people imagine what sort of features Apple might be cooking up to grow the sales of current devices, or what new gadgets the company might be creating.

Apple frequently acquires companies quietly and shuts them down, sometimes before anyone notices. However, a couple mixed reality acquisitions are known, including depth-sensing company PrimeSense, augmented reality company MetaIO and facial tracking and animation company Faceshift. The company has also listed jobs related to VR and AR and recently hired Doug Bowman, a pioneering researcher in the field.