Apple’s Tim Cook Says AR Could Have The Same Tech Impact As Smartphones

Augmented reality (AR) could be the next big thing for Apple, as its CEO Tim Cook said the technology could have as much impact as the smartphone.

Cook told The Independent that AR has much more potential than virtual reality (VR), given how the technology allows for interaction with the physical world rather than immerse people in virtual ones.

Cook on AR

“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 said.

“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.

“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.”

Cook did note that a lot of work is still needed before AR becomes good enough to be a mainstream technology, but his enthusiasm for the technology does indicate a potential direction for Apple’s next batch of technology, whether incorporating AR into the next iPhone or creating a pair of augmented smart glasses, only avoiding the pitfalls of Google Glass.

As it currently stands both VR and AR are niche technology areas, but there is potential to use the tech in business.

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Roland Moore-Colyer

As News Editor of Silicon UK, Roland keeps a keen eye on the daily tech news coverage for the site, while also focusing on stories around cyber security, public sector IT, innovation, AI, and gadgets.

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