Tim Cook confirms Apple working on AR

Apple CEO Tim Cook, in an interview with The Washington Post, has once again discussed Apple’s Augmented Reality plans, confirming the company is ‘doing a lot of things’ with AR.

Speaking at length about the future of Apple, AI, and numerous other subjects, Cook addressed the company’s AR ambitions, saying Apple is ‘doing a lot of things’ in the area.

Elaborating on the subject, Cook said: “I think AR is extremely interesting and sort of a core technology. So, yes, it’s something we’re doing a lot of things on behind that curtain we talked about.”

This is the first time he has confirmed Apple’s Augmented Reality projects, having previously stated ‘It will be huge’ and that Apple was ‘investing in’ the tech.

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Tim Cook

Augmented Reality differs from virtual reality in that it overlays virtual elements onto the real world, a feature at the heart of current mobile gaming phenomenon Pokémon Go.

Apple is reported as having a large division where staff are working exclusively on AR, and has been hiring several specialists in the field recently, poaching former Microsoft HoloLens engineer Nick Thompson from its rival.

The company has also acquired a slew of AR specialist firms such as German AR company Metaio and PrimeSense, the firm that helped make the Xbox Kinect.

Cook did’t provide any more details about Apple’s Augmented Reality projects in his latest interview, but divulged plenty of information on other subjects.

Related: 8 Apple patents that will shape the next iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch

SiriSiri is likely to make its debut on Mac OS this year

Speaking about AI and Siri, Cook said: “Increasingly, Siri understands things without having to memorize certain ways to say things. The prediction of Siri is going way up. What we’ve done with AI is focus on things that will help the customer.

“And we announced in June that we’re opening Siri to third parties, so third-party developers can now use Siri. So a simple example with that, whatever kind of ride-sharing app you might use, Uber or Lyft in the United States, you could just — using your voice — order the car.

“So third-party developers are writing tons of those that will be available to the public in the fall. And that’s how we’re broadening Siri in a huge way.”

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And in response to concerns surrounding Apple’s reliance on iPhone sales in a market that is, as The Post puts it ‘cooling off’, Cook remained optimistic.

“This is actually a privilege, not a problem,” he said. “…I realize that the people who are focused on this 90-day clock say, “Oh, my God, the smartphone industry only grew by 1 percent or decreased by 6 percent.” You know, the global economy’s not that great right now. But if you’re in it for the long haul, this is the best market on earth.”

Unfortunately, Cook remained tight-lipped on the rumoured Apple Car, refusing to speak directly about ‘something [the company] hasn’t announced’.

The full interview covers numerous other topics, including Cook’s non-traditional view of the role of CEO, the company’s social responsibility initiatives, and more.

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