New in OS X: Get MacRumors Push Notifications on your Mac

Resubscribe Now Close

Apple CEO Tim Cook Calls Augmented Reality 'Profound,' Says it Should 'Amplify' Human Contact

cook_heroOver the past few months, Apple CEO Tim Cook has spoken about augmented reality several times, giving us an idea of what Apple might be working on behind the scenes. In a new interview with BuzzFeed News, Cook hints at Apple's approach to augmented reality, suggesting it should encourage, not replace, human contact.
"Augmented reality will take some time to get right, but I do think that it's profound. We might ... have a more productive conversation, if both of us have an AR experience standing here, right? And so I think that things like these are better when they're incorporated without becoming a barrier to our talking. ... You want the technology to amplify it, not to be a barrier."
According to Cook, there is "no substitute" for human interaction, a belief that further lends itself to the idea that Apple is exploring augmented reality experiences over virtual reality experiences. In fact, in the interview, Cook says that while VR "has some interesting applications," he doesn't think it's a "broad-based technology like AR."

Cook has made many similar comments in recent months. In July, Cook said Apple was "high on AR in the long run" and that the company continues "to invest a lot in [AR]." He said he believes augmented reality "can be huge," and in August, he called it a "core technology."

In September, when discussing AR/VR, he said be believes augmented reality "is the larger of the two," because it allows people to "be very present," engaging with one another while having other visual things to see.

According to rumors, Apple has a research team working on augmented and virtual reality, exploring the AR/VR field and investigating how the company could embrace augmented or virtual reality in the future. Apple has reportedly built prototype virtual reality headsets, but Cook's continued comments on augmented reality indicate Apple is more heavily invested in that technology.

Apple has made several AR-related acquisitions and hires in recent months, purchasing companies like Metaio, Faceshift, and Flyby Media, and according to BuzzFeed, Apple has also recently been attending meetings with immersive content companies like Jaunt.

BuzzFeed also points out that some of Apple's existing hardware could be part of a future "AR ecosystem," including the iPhone 7 Plus with its dual-lens camera system, the Apple Watch with GPS and accelerometer, and the AirPods, equipped with dual accelerometers, optical sensors, microphones, and an antenna.

Related Roundup: Apple VR Project


Top Rated Comments

(View all)

14 weeks ago
Man, Cook seems to be interested in everything in tech *except* computers.
Rating: 24 Votes
14 weeks ago
I've always rather enjoyed Actual Reality.
Rating: 21 Votes
14 weeks ago
Personally, think he's wrong here. I think he's basing it too much off of Pokemon Go.
Rating: 17 Votes
14 weeks ago
When did apple go from being a proactive company to such a reactive one? :(
Rating: 15 Votes
14 weeks ago
He seems to be jumping on whatever the cool thing is without contemplating the long term implications for Apple. First they acquired Beats because they figured that it would make Apple seem hip yo and now they figure that they need to get their something AR out whether it makes sense or not.
Rating: 14 Votes
14 weeks ago
Enough, Tim. You're beginning to sound like an old man who still marvels at the wheel.
Rating: 12 Votes
14 weeks ago

When did apple go from being a proactive company to such a reactive one? :(

Seriously? They're NEVER first, they're always late or last and that's what gives them a huge advantage. See what was a gimmick, what worked and what needed work to be great.
Rating: 12 Votes
14 weeks ago
Augmented Reality of Apple = No Macs to be purchased. No major iPhone upgrade in 2016. No new features in Apple TV. Apple Watch with poor battery life.
Rating: 11 Votes
14 weeks ago

In July ('//www.macrumors.com/2016/07/26/apple-investing-in-augmented-reality/'), Cook said Apple was "high on AR..."

This explains so much!

In all seriousness though, I get this dismal feeling that Tim has absolutely no vision... fast to follow and all that. Augmented Reality has been around for how long now? I do agree that it has far more potential than VR, at least in the current state of things (the only people I know who care about VR are the guys who have jobs in that industry).
Rating: 10 Votes
14 weeks ago
Apple, when at its best, is reimagining devices and operations that already exist but aren't done right, or can be done better. Between the fiasco that is the Apple Car to this absolutely ridiculous interview/direction that he thinks things are going I am, for the first time contemplating selling my Apple stock. He does not have a clear vision of what he wants the company to do. He hasn't guided anything new out of Apple since he's been CEO and just doesn't seem to capable of doing anything about it.
Rating: 10 Votes

[ Read All Comments ]