Apple CEO, TimCook, clarifies the company’s position on Virtual Reality and Augmented reality, claiming that human contact has no substitute.
Interested in AR
When discussing AR and VR, Apple is usually inscrutable. Most of the competitors, like Microsoft and Google among others, have gone along with one or the other strategy, whereas Apple remains inscrutable. However, during a recent interview with Tim Cook that BuzzFeed, News Japan, had conducted during the CEO’s visit to the country, Time Cook has clarified his company position. According to him, Apple is more interested in Augmented reality rather than VR, as the former is more capable of enhancing the human experience.
According to the interview with BuzzFeed, Cook has stated that human contact has no other substitute, so it is important to create the technology for encouraging human contact. Apple seems to be in favor of AR rather than VR, in the long run. He also stated that AR could be really immense. One can see what he means when one sees the huge success of Pokemon Go, where users interact with the real world.
There have been several moves made by Apple behind the scenes bolstering its AR strategy. Earlier in 2013, Apple acquired PrimeSense. PrimeSense is a company that is connected with sensors for capturing motion, which was used in Kinect game hardware. Again, in the year 2015, Metaio, Apple acquired a German reality company. Some months afater this, Apple acquired Faceshift connected with capturing real time motions that were used in the Star Wars. In 2016, Apple has hired YuryPetrov from the Oculus section of Facebook along with Zeyu Li of Magic Leap as algorithm engineers.
An Augmented Reality Ecosystem
Apple has been slowly putting into place an ecosystem that is connected with Augmented Reality. In case of the iPhone 7 Plus, there is the Wide Color display combined with the twin cameras. Through this, it can collect stereoscopic data and generate depth maps applicable in more interesting ways than just bokeh or Portrait.
In another example, Apple Watch offers a wearable device that has spatial awareness, with GPS, accelerometer and so on. In case of the AirPod earphones, they are wireless and come with double optical sensors, antenna and microphones that form beams. In case of the iTunes, the system for distribution of the content is huge.
BuzzFeed also reports that Apple has recently been having meetings with Jaunt and other such companies connected with immersive contents.
However, there seems to be no broad based strategy that links all these events together. However, the strategy seems to be slowly unraveling as well. Time Cook seems to suggest that the company is more interested in offering smart improvements to the real experience using AR, rather than just creating a fantasy virtual reality, such as those delivered by Google and Facebook, among others.
Time Cook on AR
According to Tim Cook, VR does have some useful applications, but AR offers broader technology. It may take more time to get AR right, but it will have a profound effect. Users will have a better conversation with an AR experience.