Apple CEO Tim Cook: 'I Think Augmented Reality is Big and Profound'

During today's earnings call covering the third fiscal quarter of 2017, Apple CEO Tim Cook was asked about ARKit and how he foresees developers using the service when it first launches. In response, Cook once again reiterated his excitement about augmented reality, and in short, said he expects to see a wide variety of applications shortly after iOS 11 becomes available this fall.

Cook pointed towards many of the demos that we're already seeing, which have ranged from games and entertainment to more practical applications like furniture placement and measurement.


"I could not be more excited about AR and what we're seeing with ARKit," said Cook. "What categories? What's on the web in terms of what people are doing? It's all over the place, from entertainment to gaming." He went on to say that he expects to see small business solutions, consumer solutions, and enterprise solutions, though he mentioned enterprise "takes a little longer to get going sometimes."

"I think AR is big and profound," he went on to say. "This is one of those huge things that we'll look back at and marvel at the start of it. I think customers are going to see it in a variety of ways and it feels great to get [AR] going at a level that can get all of the developers behind it."

A recreation of A-ha's "Take On Me" made using ARKit

In an interview with CNBC after the earnings call, Cook said he believes the iPhone will become even more essential than it already is once augmented reality features are widely available.

"The smart phone is becoming even more important to people because it's going across so much of your life and you can tell by some of the things we did at WWDC that that will only continue," Cook told CNBC's Josh Lipton. "And with things like AR… I think it becomes even more essential than it currently is. I know it's hard to believe, but I think that's the case."

When iOS 11 launches in the fall, it's set to become the largest AR platform in the world thanks to the myriad iPhones and iPads that are in the hands of customers. Developers are already building a huge range of ARKit-based apps and games, which will also start launching this fall.

Related Roundup: Apple Glasses

Top Rated Comments

iapplelove Avatar
51 months ago
A fingerprint sensor under the screen would be pretty profound as well!
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
djcerla Avatar
51 months ago
Well that's what everybody was saying about VR a year or two ago as well, right before everything related to VR flopped.

Although I see greater potential in AR as well, consider me sceptical.
You shouldn't.

VR isolates people, AR helps connect with people and locations. AR will revolutionize everything, from social interactions to tourism to architecture (everything will slowly become a huge white board). Not that I really like the idea, but I can clearly see the path forward.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Relentless Power Avatar
51 months ago
I think Cook is right. This technology is in its infancy and has a bright future gaming and other media entertainment. The iPhone is just a bridge to this new era augmented reality.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
djcerla Avatar
51 months ago
A fingerprint sensor under the screen would be pretty profound as well!
I can't use TouchID with slightly wet hands so who cares? Infrared, 3D face recognition looks like a much better, way more secure solution to the problem.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
-BigMac- Avatar
51 months ago
I can't use TouchID with slightly wet hands so who cares? Infrared, 3D face recognition looks like a much better, way more secure solution to the problem.
Try face recognition in the rain, with drops covering the screen and blocking your face:confused:
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Olz Avatar
51 months ago
Is it just me or has Tim mentioned AR at the last two or three earning calls/product releases? To me it's becoming a bit like the "amazing pipeline" of products he used to go on about. Until Apple release a killer product using AR, it's just more rhetoric from Tim.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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