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 Glasses

Top Rated Comments

chrismail627 Avatar
61 months ago
Man, Cook seems to be interested in everything in tech *except* computers.
Score: 24 Votes (Like | Disagree)
DarthMoops Avatar
61 months ago
I've always rather enjoyed Actual Reality.
Score: 21 Votes (Like | Disagree)
rizzo41999 Avatar
61 months ago
Personally, think he's wrong here. I think he's basing it too much off of Pokemon Go.
Score: 17 Votes (Like | Disagree)
JOV97 Avatar
61 months ago
When did apple go from being a proactive company to such a reactive one? :(
Score: 15 Votes (Like | Disagree)
SteveJobs2.0 Avatar
61 months 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.
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Szarky Avatar
61 months 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.
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

EEC Apple iphone 13

Apple Registers iPhone 13 Models in Eurasia Ahead of September Launch

Friday June 11, 2021 2:16 am PDT by
Nashville Chatter Class has discovered a new Russian-language regulatory filing in the Eurasian Economic Commission (EEC) database pointing towards several unreleased iPhone 13 models that Apple will be launching in the fall. Versions of iPhone running iOS 14 are listed with the model numbers A2628, A2630, A2634, A2635, A2640, A2643, and A2645. None of the numbers correspond to Apple's...
ios 15 home screen icons

iOS 15 Lets You Drag and Drop Images and Text Across Apps

Saturday June 12, 2021 3:17 pm PDT by
Apple this week previewed iOS 15, which is available now in beta for developers ahead of a public release later this year. One smaller but useful new feature added is the ability to drag and drop images, text, files, and more across apps on iPhone. MacStories editor-in-chief Federico Viticci demonstrated the new feature in a tweet: Using cross-app drag and drop on iPhone in iOS 15. Finally 🎉 #WW ...
ipad mini 6

Next iPad Mini Will Allegedly Feature Thinner Bezels, USB-C Port, and Touch ID Power Button

Friday June 11, 2021 1:13 pm PDT by
On his newly launched Front Page Tech website, leaker Jon Prosser has shared renders showing off the alleged design of the next-generation iPad mini, which he says are based on schematics, CAD files, and real images of the device. In line with details shared earlier this month by Bloomberg's Mark Gurman and Debby Wu, Prosser claims that the new iPad mini will feature slimmer bezels around...
iphone12protriplelenscamera

Apple's Orders for Key iPhone 13 Camera Component Expected to Outstrip Entire Android Market

Wednesday June 9, 2021 12:47 am PDT by
Major camera upgrades coming to the iPhone 13 series are putting increased pressure on suppliers to meet Apple's demand for key lens components, according to a new DigiTimes report. Apple has reportedly put Taiwan-based makers of voice coil motor (VCM) components on notice to increase their capacity by 30-40% in order to meet the company's demand, which is expected to outstrip the entire...
apple virtual game controller ios 15

Apple Makes New On-Screen Game Controller Available to Developers on iOS 15 and iPadOS 15

Saturday June 12, 2021 12:36 pm PDT by
During the Platforms State of the Union at WWDC this week, Apple unveiled a new API for iOS 15 and iPadOS 15 that enables developers to implement an on-screen virtual game controller in their iPhone and iPad games with just a few lines of code. While many iPhone and iPad games already offer on-screen controls, Apple's new virtual game controller is available to all developers, easy to add,...
macos monterey tidbits feature copy

macOS Monterey Tidbits: Animated Memoji on Login Screen, Change the Color of the Mouse Pointer, and More

Friday June 11, 2021 10:27 am PDT by
We've highlighted several new features coming in macOS Monterey, such as Low Power Mode and the option to erase a Mac without reinstalling the operating system, but there are some smaller tidbits that we wanted to share. Animated Memoji on Login Screen One small but fun new feature in macOS Monterey is the addition of a personalized Memoji on the login screen, complete with animated facial...
mr white ipod touch 5 protoype3

Unreleased iPod Touch 5 With Chamfered Edges and 30-Pin Dock Connector Shared Online

Thursday June 10, 2021 2:05 am PDT by
Occasional leaker Mr White has today shared interesting images on Twitter of what appears to be an old-school fifth-generation iPod touch prototype with chamfered edges and a brushed aluminum finish. The original iPod touch 5 that Apple released in October 2012 had a unibody anodized aluminum chassis with rounded edges, and was available in several colors, including slate. Another...
maxresdefault

Apple Promotes iPad Pro in New Ad With 'The Little Mermaid' Musical Spin

Saturday June 12, 2021 7:01 am PDT by
In a currently unlisted ad on YouTube, Apple is promoting the versatility, portability, and power of the M1 iPad Pro in a fun musical inspired by The Little Mermaid's "Part of Your World" soundtrack. In the ad, which features the main character using an M1 iPad Pro, Magic Keyboard, and Apple Pencil, multiple users can be seen struggling with their old PCs indoors while hoping that they can...
passwords system preferences

macOS Monterey Features Dedicated Password Section in System Preferences, Built-In Authenticator and More

Friday June 11, 2021 2:32 pm PDT by
macOS Monterey makes several improvements to password management, positioning iCloud Keychain as an ideal password service to replace third-party services like Lastpass and 1Password. In System Preferences, there's a new "Passwords" section that houses all of your iCloud Keychain logins and passwords so they're easier to get to, edit, and manage. There's a similar Passwords section that's...
Dark Sky App Featured

Dark Sky iOS App, Website, and API Now Scheduled to Remain Available Until End of 2022

Thursday June 10, 2021 7:34 am PDT by
Last year, Apple acquired the weather app Dark Sky, and shortly after its purchase, Apple shut down the app for Android. Despite the revamped iOS 15 Weather app taking heavy inspiration from Dark Sky, the weather's app standalone iOS app, web app, and API will remain available until the end of next year, compared to the end of this year, as previously planned. Dark Sky announced in an update ...