Apple CEO Tim Cook poses for a portrait next to a row of new MacBook Airs as he enters the Steve Jobs Theater during the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) on the Apple Park campus in Cupertino, California on June 6, 2022.
Chris Tuite | AFP | Getty Images
Apple CEO Tim Cook recently came closest to confirming that Apple is building a headset.
Cook was asked in a recent interview with China Daily USA what he believes are the key drivers for augmented reality, or AR, to succeed in the consumer market.
“I’m incredibly excited about AR, as you may know. And the most important thing for any technology, including AR, is to put humanity at the center,” he said, echoing comments he’s made in the past about how important AR is. for the company.
He then went on to describe Apple’s work in space to date, which has focused on AR apps on the iPhone and iPad, before adding, “But I think we’re still in the early stages of how this technology will evolve. I couldn’t be more excited about the opportunities we’ve seen in this space, and stay tuned and you’ll see what we have to offer.”
AR or “mixed reality” describes technology that overlays computer-generated images over images of the real world, as opposed to virtual reality, or VR, which completely immerses the viewer in a computer-generated world.
It’s one of the clearest examples yet of Cook acknowledging that Apple has something bigger in the works. While current apps can be useful for things like mapping a room or seeing if a new piece of furniture will fit, it seems more likely that Apple built the library and tools for developers to build apps for something like a headset.
Bloomberg said in May that Apple recently showed its AR/VR headset to Apple’s board of directors and that the company plans to announce it as early as the end of this year, although it could disappear next year. The same report states that Apple plans to sell the headset in 2023.
Apple would be catching up with a number of other major tech companies, most notably Meta, which changed its name from Facebook last year to signal its renewed focus on immersing users in virtual worlds known as the “metaverse.” and Microsoft, which first introduced its Hololens AR glasses in 2016.