Apple CEO Tim Cook: AR is bigger than VR


Apple has been relatively mum on its ambitions for jumping into the virtual reality landscape. Now we know a little more why. During a recent interview with BuzzFeed, Apple CEO Tim Cook said he values human interaction more, giving AR the leg-up.

“There’s no substitute for human contact,” Cook said. “And so you want the technology to encourage that. We are high on AR for the long run,” Cook said, referring to augmented reality. “I think AR can be huge.”

AR is the sort of experience that Microsoft HoloLens offers. It’s also how Pokémon Goworks. It allows the user to interact with the real world without stepping away from it. VR, instead, requires you to leave this world, stepping completely into another one.

“Augmented reality will take some time to get right, but I do think that it’s profound,” he said.”We might… have a more productive conversation, if both of us have an AR experience standing here, right? Things like these are better when they’re incorporated without becoming a barrier to our talking. You want the technology to amplify it, not be a barrier.”

That’s true if we’re considering conversation, but what about immersive gaming experiences? VR, in my opinion, is better suited for that.

Why this matters:

Apple hasn’t talked much about its plans for VR or AR, leaving its plans seemingly up in the air. As BuzzFeed points out, however, Apple acquired has a patent for a couple of head-mounted displays. That suggests definite interest in the field. Cook suggested Apple isn’t going to rush to get products on the market, however.

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