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Apple's Tim Cook Says AR and VR Are For 'Connection' and 'Communication'

Tuesday April 4, 2023. 12:40 AM , from Slashdot/Apple
Tim Cook's vision for AR and VR hasn't changed. 'For almost a decade, Apple's CEO has been banging the drum that AR is more important than VR and that AR is fundamentally about bringing people together,' reports The Verge. 'And he's still at it.' From the report: 'If you think about the technology itself with augmented reality, just to take one side of the AR/VR piece, the idea that you could overlay the physical world with things from the digital world could greatly enhance people's communication, people's connection,' Cook told GQ's Zach Baron in a long and very interesting profile just published by the magazine. Cook told Baron that he's interested in collaboration; he said something about measuring glass walls; he said his thinking on glasses-as-gadget has changed over the years.

None of this is a product announcement, of course, only the latest in a long string of hints about what Apple sees in this space. Cook's been on this particular line since at least 2016, when he said on Good Morning America that AR '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.' At various times over the years, Cook has said AR is a powerful technology for education, that he thinks it'll be as common as 'eating three meals a day,' and that he thinks AR is as big an idea as the smartphone. But he keeps coming back to the idea that AR should be meant to bring people together in the real world, not keep them apart or transport them to another universe entirely.

Cook also offered what sounds like an explanation for why the headset, which has been heavily rumored over the last couple of years, has taken so long to come out. 'I'm not interested in putting together pieces of somebody else's stuff,' he told GQ. 'Because we want to control the primary technology. Because we know that's how you innovate.' Maybe the most revealing thing in the story is the way Cook explains Apple -- or at least explains the way he hopes you'll see Apple. He talks frequently about Apple's environmental commitments, its loud fight against 'the data-industrial complex,' and the way Apple is trying to help people have better relationships with technology. (Conveniently ignoring that Apple is perhaps more responsible for our phone addictions than any other company, of course.) 'Because my philosophy is, if you're looking at the phone more than you're looking in somebody's eyes, you're doing the wrong thing.' Apple plans to unveil a mixed-reality headset on June 5th at its annual Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC).

Read more of this story at Slashdot.
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