Tim Cook praises AR, says it will be as big as smartphones

midian182

TechSpot Editor
Staff member

As virtual reality continues to struggle, many people believe that the next big thing will be AR, rather than VR. One notable augmented reality advocate is Apple CEO Tim Cook, who thinks it could have the same impact on the world as smartphones.

AR, which overlays computer graphics and digital data on top of the real world, is arguably already more successful than VR, thanks to its use in smartphone apps like Pokémon Go. But the ultimate plan is for the technology to make its way into consumer headsets/glasses. Microsoft’s HoloLens is already showing potential (check out this AR Portal demo), though it’s still only available in its $3000 developer kit version. There’s also Magic Leap and its AR tech, but the company is still recovering from revelations that its early demo videos were faked.

Tim Cook believes that AR will surpass VR because it doesn’t lock users into a digital space. “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,” he told The Independent.

Cook went so far as to compare the technology to the smartphone, explaining that it could help people everywhere in their everyday lives.

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.

It’s not too surprising to hear Cook talk about augmented reality this way, especially as Apple is almost certainly working on an AR product. Back in July last year, the company all but confirmed it was developing some type of augmented reality device. A few months later, Cook called AR a “core technology,” while reports of Google Glass-style AR glasses being developed by Apple arrived in November.

While there’s no indication of when Apple may release its AR technology, don’t be surprised to see something arriving this year. The company used similar language just before the launch of the iPhone and Apple Watch, so it looks as if Cook is getting Apple fans and investors ready for a big announcement.

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Skidmarksdeluxe

TS Evangelist
If Cook told me it was pouring rain outside, I'd stick my hand out of the window just to be certain he wasn't bee essing as per usual but on this rare occasion I'd tend to agree with him. VR is nothing more than a passing fad and AR is where all the action will be at.
 
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mbrowne5061

TS Evangelist
If Cook told me it was pouring rain outside, I'd stick my hand out of the window just to be certain he wasn't bee essing as per usual but on this rare occasion I'd tend to agree with him. VR is nothing more than a passing fad and AR is where all the action will be at.
I suspect you'll see VR thrive in the 'pure consumption' mediums like video games and movies, once the low-end hardware catches up, but AR will be larger overall.
 

captaincranky

TechSpot Addict
More like Cook *wishes* it will be as big as the smartphone.
Well, Tim Cook is a middle aged (straight ?), white guy, who is usually more concerned about patronizing minorities, and self promoting his efforts toward "diversity" in those who comprise Apple employees.

IMHO, Apple already has plenty of "diversity", the 100,000+ employees of Foxconn who are all Chinese.

My own personal feelings toward Cook, is that he should come to grips with the fact he's not Steve Jobs, not even a reasonable facsimile, and keep his mouth shut altogether.

IMHO, something as stupid as the fact that AR worked for "Pokemon Go", shouldn't be the basis on which to build another wing of the tech sector. But hell, what do I know?

As far as VR goes, I think it's the ideal vehicle for offering trips to people who will never be able to go there. Personally, I'd like to walk among the giant sequoias and Pacific Coast redwoods. Ride up and down the PCH.. Travel to the Cote D'Azur, gamble without risk at Monte Carlo after watching the road race through its streets

Not that a tech company has any time for the aging, but VR would be ideal for those in retirement homes, communities, hostels, and hospitals., who like most of us, can't go where we want, when we want.
 
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