Virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) have become dominant technologies for several global companies including Samsung, Google, Facebook, HTC and Microsoft to name a few, but one big name missing from that list is Apple. Its recent conference announcing iPhone 7 was devoid of any VR or AR news, but it seems -where CEO Tim Cook is concerned – that AR has more potential than VR.
When asked about VR in an interview with ABC News’ Robin Roberts, Cook responded: “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.
“This 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. And so there’s a lot of really cool things there.”
Going back to VR he went on to say: “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. Less people will be interested in that.
He does add: “There’s some really cool areas there for education and gaming that we have a lot of interest in.”
What Apple has planned is anyone’s guess currently. Earlier this month a new patent issued by the United States Patent and Trademark Office revealed a mobile head-mounted display (HMD) that had similarities to Samsung Gear VR or Google’s upcoming Daydream headset.
But from Cook’s comments it’s likely we’ll see an AR announcement first, probably software-based rather than hardware such as HoloLens or Meta2.
If and when Apple does make any announcements, VRFocus will be the first to let you know.