Apple CEO Tim Cook’s interest in augmented reality is well documented, and his confidence in it seems to have only grown over the past few months.
On a recent trip to the UK, Cook was quizzed about his thoughts on the technology by The Independent. He again noted that he was more excited about AR than he was VR because the latter “closes the world out” while the former “allows individuals to be present in the world but hopefully allows an improvement on what’s happening presently.”
He explained that AR content can be “a part of your world” rather than closing you off from it. “That has resonance,” he said.
How much resonance? Cook thinks AR could appeal to as many people as Apple’s iPhone does. “The smartphone is for everyone,” he explained, “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.”
He said that AR was a “core technology” and not its own product, but there was still use for it before the tech 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,” he said.
We obviously don’t need to tell you just how successful the iPhone has been, and Cook’s vision for the tech is likely looking years ahead. We use our smartphones for a huge number of aspects of our daily lives now, but AR could bring the information and entertainment stored on our phones out of the screen and into the real world.
Comments like these only serve to bolster the speculation that Apple is working on its own AR device, and could skip VR headsets entirely. The real question right now is what form that device takes; could expanded AR capabilities be integrated into the next iPhone? Or does the tech giant have plans for a HoloLens or Magic Leap-like competitor?