In a recent interview with YouTuber iJustine, Tim Cook called himself “AR fan #1” and said he thinks it’s one of “very few profound technologies” that have the potential to permanently embed themselves in day-to-day life.
The comments on AR, prompted by a question from Justine, start around the 9:15 mark. Here’s a transcription of what he had to say (emphasis is our own):
You know, I am so excited about AR. I think AR is one of these very few profound technologies that we will look back on one day and, ‘How did we lives out without it?’ And so right now you can experience it in thousands of ways, using your iPad or your iPhone, but of course those will get better and better over time. Already, it’s a great way to shop, it’s a great way to learn, it enhances the learning process. I can’t wait for it to be even more important in collaboration and so forth. So I’m AR fan #1. I think it’s that big.
Simple things today that you can use it for, like if you’re shopping for a sofa or a chair or a lamp, in terms of experiencing it in your place… We’ve never been able to do that before until the last couple of years or so. And that’s at the early innings of AR, it will only get better
This is far from the first time Cook has been publicly bullish about AR. In April, he said it was “critically important” to Apple’s future, following on from comments two months earlier about how he thinks AR could one day attract as big of an audience as the iPhone. As far back as 2016, Tim Cook was telling Apple investors that AR will be huge but also take some time to get right.
Five years on, AR has come a long way but still has a ways to go. Facebook’s recent Ray-Ban smart glasses pave the way for that company’s public AR efforts, but Apple has yet to dip its toes into AR hardware beyond iPhone and iOS integration. It’s reported that this could change next year, with Apple rumored to launch an AR-VR headset in the second half of 2022 for anywhere between $1000-$2000 or more.