During a chat with Kara Swisher for The New York Times today, Apple CEO Tim Cook sang the praises of the company’s upcoming augmented reality glasses.
Basically, he suggested that AR is going to turn regular conversations into Powerpoint presentations — complete with “graphs” that’ll pop up while you’re talking to illustrate the point you’re trying to make.
“Well, I can’t talk about anything that may or may not be in the pipeline,” he said. “But in terms of AR, the promise of AR is that you and I are having a great conversation right now.”
“Arguably, it could even be better if we were able to augment our discussion with charts or other things to appear,” Cook said. “And your audience would also benefit from this, too, I think.”
Having fun yet? It’s not the sexiest vision of the future. Given the immense promise of AR, it’s surprising to hear the CEO of the biggest tech company in the world jump to something so banal.
To Cook, AR is here to stay and is already showing great promise in fields like health, education, retail and gaming. Cook also agreed when Swisher asked him if he thinks AR is a “critically important part of Apple’s future.”
According to the latest leaks, Apple’s mixed reality headsets could represent a significant technological leap forward. The device is rumored to be extremely lightweight, weighing even less than an iPhone 12 while still providing a degree of immersion thanks to cutting-edge optics.
But selling such a technology to the masses will likely require more than a promise to insert “charts” into conversations with other people. Augmented reality headsets haven’t hit the mainstream yet, with developer-focused devices such as Microsoft’s HoloLens 2 costing as much as $3,500.
Apple’s upcoming headset may feature nearly as hefty a price tag, costing as much as $3,000 if the rumors are to be believed.
The company is setting itself up for an uphill battle: the adoption of mixed reality headsets will heavily depend on not only proving to consumers that the tech is mature, but also that it has a reason to exist.
READ MORE: Tim Cook says Apple wants to use AR to make conversations better [The Verge]
More on the headset: New Details Leak About Apple’s Virtual Reality Headset