Apple’s Tim Cook predicts augmented reality will be bigger than VR because it doesn’t isolate people in their own worlds

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  • Tim Cook was speaking during an event at the University of Oxford this week
  • He said he is ‘incredibly excited’ about AR, and can see uses for it everywhere
  • But he said he’s ‘never been a fan’ of virtual reality, as it isolates people
  • In September, Apple launched ARKit, letting users have augmented reality capabilities in apps, such as Pokemon Go 

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While Facebook, Google, and other technology firms continue to reveal new developments in virtual reality, Apple is focusing its attention on augmented reality (AR), according to CEO, Tim Cook.

Cook has revealed that he is ‘incredibly excited’ about AR which he believes will be bigger than virtual reality (VR). 

He describes VR as isolating and ‘not profound.’

His revelation comes shortly after Apple launched ARKit as part of its iOS 11 update, letting users have augmented reality capabilities in apps, such as Pokemon Go.

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While Facebook, Google, and other technology firms continue to reveal new developments in virtual reality, Apple is focusing its attention on augmented reality, according to CEO, Tim Cook

While Facebook, Google, and other technology firms continue to reveal new developments in virtual reality, Apple is focusing its attention on augmented reality, according to CEO, Tim Cook

While Facebook, Google, and other technology firms continue to reveal new developments in virtual reality, Apple is focusing its attention on augmented reality, according to CEO, Tim Cook

AR VERSUS VR 

Virtual reality is a computer-generated simulation of an environment or situation.

It immerses the user by making them feel like they are in the simulated reality throughimages and sounds.

For example, in VR, you could feel like you’re climbing a mountain while sat at home.

In contrast, augmented reality layers computer-generated images on top of an existing reality.

AR is developed into apps to bring digital components into the real world.

For example, in the Pokemon Go app, the characters seem to appear in real world scenarios. 

Cook was speaking during an event hosted by the University of Oxford this week.

When asked what technologies he sees as transformative, Cook said: ‘I’m incredibly excited by AR because I can see uses for it everywhere.

‘I can see uses for it in education, in consumers, in entertainment, in sports. 

‘I can see it in every business that I know anything about

‘I also like the fact that it doesn’t isolate.

‘I don’t like our products being used a lot. 

‘I like our products amplifying thoughts and I think AR can help amplify the human connection.

‘I’ve never been a fan of VR like that because I think it does the opposite.

‘There are clearly some cool niche things for VR but it’s not profound in my view. AR is profound.’

This isn’t the first time that Cook has expressed his disinterest in augmented reality.

In October last year, Mr Cook said in an interview with Buzzfeed: ‘VR has some interesting applications, but I don’t think it’s a broad-based technology like AR.

Tim Cook has revealed that he is 'incredibly excited' about AR, but sees VR as isolating and 'not profound'

Tim Cook has revealed that he is 'incredibly excited' about AR, but sees VR as isolating and 'not profound'

Tim Cook has revealed that he is ‘incredibly excited’ about AR, but sees VR as isolating and ‘not profound’

‘Augmented reality will take some time to get right, but I do think that it’s profound. 

‘We might…have a more productive conversation, if both of us have an AR experience standing here, right?

‘And so I think that things like these are better when they’re incorporated without a becoming a barrier to our talking.

‘You want the technology to amplify it, not be a barrier.’ 

AR, A $83 BILLION OPPORTUNITY

Tim Merel, managing director of technology consulting firm Digi-Capital, believes Apple’s entry into AR will catalyze the field. His firm expects AR to mushroom into an $83 billion market by 2021, up from $1.2 billion last year.

That estimate assumes that Apple and its rivals will expand beyond AR software to high-tech glasses and other devices, such as Microsoft’s HoloLens headset.

For now, though, nothing appears better suited for interacting with AR than the smartphone. Google already makes AR software called Tango that debuted on one Lenovo smartphone last year and will be part of another high-end device from Asus this month.

Google is also developing a special AR web browser allowing developers to create AR websites

Google is also developing a special AR web browser allowing developers to create AR websites

Google is also developing a special AR web browser allowing developers to create AR websites

But it will be years before Tango phones are as widely used as iPhones, or for that matter, iPads. Most of those devices are expected to become AR-ready when the free iOS 11 update hits next month.

Nearly 90 percent of Apple devices powered by iOS typically install the new software version when it comes out. 

Assuming that pattern holds true this fall, that will bring AR to about 300 million Apple devices that are already in people’s hands.

In September, Apple released its new ARKit as part of the iOS 11 update. 

Apple’s system uses the cameras on an iPhone to detect a flat surface, or ‘plane’ to put the virtual objects on, such as a table or floor.

With a combination of machine learning and the camera data, it can constantly adjust the image so the object appears secured to the correct surface without the ‘jitters’ or other AR systems.

In September, Apple released its new ARKit as part of the iOS 11 update. Apple's Augmented reality system uses the cameras on an iPhone to detect a flat surface, or 'plane' to put the virtual objects on, such as a table or floor

In September, Apple released its new ARKit as part of the iOS 11 update. Apple's Augmented reality system uses the cameras on an iPhone to detect a flat surface, or 'plane' to put the virtual objects on, such as a table or floor

In September, Apple released its new ARKit as part of the iOS 11 update. Apple’s Augmented reality system uses the cameras on an iPhone to detect a flat surface, or ‘plane’ to put the virtual objects on, such as a table or floor

ARKit also makes use of the camera sensor to estimate the total amount of light available in a scene and applies the correct amount of lighting to virtual objects.+

By taking advantage of the latest in AR technology, you can digitally redecorate your home, explore a city you’ve never visited, or even try on a new tattoo.

Ikea’s first AR app, called Ikea Place, lets you put any item, from sofas and lamps, to rugs and tables into your living room to see how they look.

With a combination of machine learning and the camera data, ARKit can constantly adjust the image so the object appears secured to the correct surface without the 'jitters' or other AR systems

With a combination of machine learning and the camera data, ARKit can constantly adjust the image so the object appears secured to the correct surface without the 'jitters' or other AR systems

With a combination of machine learning and the camera data, ARKit can constantly adjust the image so the object appears secured to the correct surface without the ‘jitters’ or other AR systems

It sounds like a gimmick, but in practice its astonishingly good.

The app lets you virtually ‘place’ home products that are 3-D and true to-scale so you can make sure they’re just the right size, design and functionality for your room,’ Ikea says.

A sofa placed into the room MailOnline’s reporter was sitting in appeared at the perfect size, on the floor just as it should be.

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