- Drew Angerer
Apple CEO Tim Cook loves to talk about virtual reality and augmented reality – two emerging computer platforms that require the user to wear a headset consisting of a set of glasses.
He says “there’s a lot of cool things there” in both fields but is personally more excited in augmented reality, which is more like Google Glass than Facebook’s Oculus.
“There’s virtual reality and there’s augmented reality – both of these are incredibly interesting. But my own view is that augmented reality is the larger of the two, probably by far,” Cook told ABC News in an interview published on Wednesday.
Augmented reality superimposes computer graphics onto the real world, either on a smartphone screen or through a dedicated headset.
AR “gives the capability for both of us to sit and be very present, talking to each other, but also have other things – visually – for both of us to see. Maybe it’s something we’re talking about, maybe it’s someone else here who’s not here present but who can be made to appear to be present,” Cook said.
Ultimately, the advantage of augmented reality over virtual reality may be that it’s less immersive, according to Cook.
“Virtual reality sort of encloses and immerses the person into an experience that can be really cool, but probably has a lower commercial interest over time,” he said. “Less people will be interested in that.”
This isn’t the first time Cook has talked about augmented reality and virtual reality. The company reportedly has a team of hundreds working on headset prototypes.
“I think AR is extremely interesting and sort of a core technology. So, yes, it’s something we’re doing a lot of things on behind that curtain we talked about,” Cook told The Washington Post in August.
And during Apple’s most recent conference call, he suggested that AR could be huge and praised Pokémon Go, one of the few mainstream AR apps.
“I know there are people who want to call [AR] a new computing platform and we’ll see. I think there’s a tendency in this industry to call everything new ‘the next computer platform.’ However, that said, I do think AR can be huge,” Cook said.