Following Apple’s earnings call on Tuesday, CEO Tim Cook announced that Apple would be “invest[ing] in AR in the long run” following the massive success of Pokémon Go. While everyone is now teasing Cook for mispronouncing the name of the game, Apple’s wholehearted support will help propel augmented reality into the mainstream.
As we already know, technologies invented by and for Android typically only become accepted by the mainstream once Apple picks them up. (Of course, Apple has also invented it’s own fair share of mobile technologies) But as many analysts have already noted, AR is more likely to be the next big thing, because VR requires you to completely shut yourself off from the outside world, whereas AR can be with you all the time. This is obviously a huge advantage for mobile.
Responding to the success of Pokémon Go, Cook noted, “AR can be really great, and we have been and continue to invest a lot in this. We are high on AR for the long run, we think there’s great things for customers and a great commercial opportunity.”
Tim Cook: we think there's great things for customers and a great commercial opportunity.
With that said, it’s only a matter of time until we see Apple ‘invent’ AR when it announces an AR accessory, app or iPhone built to fully support AR. The upshot of all this is that AR will have definitively arrived when that day comes, and that benefits all mobile platforms, especially Android, which is the world’s largest mobile OS.
While the staying power of Pokémon Go is yet to be seen (the game has seen a recent downturn in popularity in the U.S.), it is clear that the future of AR looks bright. But even Cook is hesitant to call it the future.
“We’ll see, there’s a tendency in this industry to call every the new computing platform. That said, I think AR can be huge, but we’ll see whether it will be the next computing platform.” Keep in midn that Apple has acquired various AR companies including Metaio, Faceshift, and Flyby Media.
Do you think AR will be bigger than VR? What kind of AR app would you like to see?