Tim Cook: Augmented Reality will be bigger than Virtual Reality

Although Apple is get to enter the VR market, its CEO is talking up augmented reality instead.

Apple CEO Tim Cook has been doing the interview rounds in the aftermath of last week’s Apple launch event. He appeared on the US morning news show Good Morning America, and he was drawn into a conversation about virtual and augmented reality:

But to Cook, AR is the “larger of the two, probably by far.” He explained that augmented reality allows people to be more present and share experiences with each other, which would eventually make the tech more commercially viable. VR, on the other hand, is more closed off, Cook said. Even though it immerses people in really cool experiences, “less people will be interested in that,” he said, so it will likely inspire less commercial interest over time.

Now, to be fair, this is an example of highlighting something because it matches my pre-existing views. But the isolation from your environment that comes with VR is something I find profoundly unsettling after a while – it drags me out of VR immersion, because I’m wondering if I’m safe. The disconnection between my mental, sensory environment and my physical one upsets me at an animal level.

AR keeps us rooted in the physical world, but enhances it.

So: VR will be big, AR will be much bigger. So says Time Cook – and I agree.

Do you?

Image by Ed Sweeney and used under a Creative Commons licence