In a new interview with The Independent, Cook reiterated his optimism on augmented reality’s future, even going as far to say it’s 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,” Cook said. “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.”
Cook said he thinks of AR as a “core technology” and not a single product — which, depending on how you want to interpret it, could mean the company’s not looking to launch a pair of AR smart glasses, contrary to a claim from AR/VR evangelist Robert Scoble.
“AR allows individuals to be present in the world but hopefully allows an improvement on what’s happening presently.”
As a “core technology” Apple could implement AR more broadly across its products rather than tie it down to a single device.
But despite his excitement for it, Cook thinks existing AR technology isn’t ready yet, saying “there are things to discover before that technology is good enough for the mainstream.”
Cook also dissed VR again. “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.”
“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.” Ouch. I guess Mark Zuckerberg won’t be inviting Cook to try out the latest Oculus Rift VR tech anytime soon.