Between the announcement of its new augmented reality tool at last week’s Worldwide Developer Conference and its stealth team of engineers devoted to the platform, it’s clear Apple is beefing up investment in AR. And in public statements the company head is making it clear he’s freaking out about it – in a good way.
In an interview with Bloomberg, Apple CEO Tim Cook said “I am so excited about it, I just want to yell out and scream.” Well, ok then.
For the uninitiated, AR places computer generated graphics over real-world displays. Think of Google’s since-discontinued Google Glass eyewear as an early example.
Now, Apple wants to take the “profound” technology — as Cook put it — and make it mainstream.
A step in this direction was the announcement its next iPhone operating system will include ARKit, a tool that allows developers to create AR apps. For what remains to be seen, but Cook sees this as an opportunity to “unleash the creativity of millions of people.”
Within the industry, Apple’s AR move is being received with open arms.
“It’s a huge thing,” said Chris Milk, CEO of Within VR, in an interview with TheWrap. “Granted, it’s the beginning of AR through a phone or a tablet. But it’s introducing people to a completely new concept, and a new form of medium that does not have a storytelling structure.”
Beyond entertainment, Cook sees AR playing an integral role in commerce, pointing to Ikea using 3D images of its furniture to give consumers an idea of how their room would look.