We have seen augmented reality apps, such as the popular game Pokémon Go, gain more traction among mobile phones. It’s a trend that has also caught the attention of Apple CEO Tim Cook. In a recent interview, he hinted strongly that he thinks prospects are better for AR apps on phones rather than virtual reality apps. It’s a trend that is definitely in conflict with Apple’s rivals like Samsung and Google, both of which have been promoting their mobile VR platforms like Gear VR and Daydream.
In a chat for the UK-based site The Independent, Cook stated:
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.
The implication is that Cook doesn’t think smartphone owners will like putting on a headset and become immersed in a world with a VR game or app. Instead, those same owners would prefer to keep viewing the world around them, but with extra content that can be applied with AR apps.
Indeed, Cook added that AR, like the iPhone, could be for everyone. “I think AR is that big, it’s huge,” Cook said. He believes that it might become a core technology and that it could help people out in their daily lives. However, even he admits that that at the moment, the technology behind AR still needs to mature and get better before it is embraced by the general smartphone owner.
Do you think Cook is right and that AR could be a bigger force in smartphones rather than VR in the near future? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!