Why is Apple hyping augmented reality?

Augmented reality has a powerful ally, and apparently ardent supporter, in Apple CEO Tim Cook. The leader of the most valuable publicly traded company in the world reiterated his optimistic outlook for the future of augmented reality (AR) and highlighted the technology’s capability to layer improvements in the physical world.

“I’m excited about augmented reality because unlike virtual reality, which closes the world out, AR allows individuals to be present in the world but allows an improvement on what’s happening presently,” he told The Independent in a recent interview. “Most people don’t want to lock themselves out from the world for a long period of time and today you can’t do that because you get sick from it. With AR you can, not be engrossed in something, but have it be a part of your world, of your conversation. That has resonance.”

Cook compares AR to smartphones

Cook, who is secretive about Apple’s future plans, has hyped up AR multiple times during the last year and there are other hints, such as job postings, that indicate Apple is investing in AR and at least developing product prototypes. Whether Apple eventually releases an AR product or not is another matter, but it certainly seems to be in the cards based on Cook’s latest comments.

[ Related: Tim Cook: Augmented reality is the future, and fake news is ruining everything ]

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