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Augmented reality is a ‘core’ technology for Tim Cook’s Apple

Published Aug 15th, 2016 7:15AM EDT

Apple sees augmented reality (AR) as a “core” technology, and the company is already doing “a lot of things” with AR. The news comes from Apple CEO Tim Cook who spoke at great length in an interview about his job and its challenges.

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Cook said in the past that Apple is “high on AR for the long run,” and that “AR can be huge,” igniting speculation that the iPhone maker is already developing products that use the technology.

In an interview with the Washington Post, Cook reconfirmed that Apple is indeed working on AR products, but he was not able to share any details about them – that’s hardly a surprise considering Apple’s stance on secrecy.

“I think AR is extremely interesting and sort of a core technology,” Cook told the Post when he was asked about augmented and virtual reality. “So, yes, it’s something we’re doing a lot of things on behind that curtain that we talked about.”

One AR game that’s incredibly popular right now is Pokemon Go, which is also available on the iPhone.

Cook also talked at length about the iPhone, which is the most important product Apple sells right now, even though the company is experiencing the first drop in sales in years, at least compared to previous quarters.

The CEO made a strong case for the iPhone’s future, saying that smartphones will be even more important in our lives moving forward. Interestingly, he did not mention AR at all while talking about the iPhone, but it’s likely Apple’s AR projects are intertwined with the iPhone. He did highlight the importance of better, smarter, AI.

“Look at the core technologies that make up the smartphone today and look at the ones that will be dominant in smartphones of the future — like AI,” he said. “AI will make this product even more essential to you. It will become even a better assistant than it is today. So where you probably aren’t leaving home without it today — you’re really going to be connected to it in the future.”

“That level of performance is going to skyrocket. And there is nothing that’s going to replace it in the short term or in the intermediate term either,” Cook said. The comment is very relevant, at least when viewed in relation with his AR remarks, as some people expect AR and VR (virtual reality) eventually to kill the iPhone – or the current smartphone form factors – and replace it with a different kind of device.

The Post‘s full interview with Cook is available at the source link.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.