Science

Tim Cook states technology not yet advanced enough for AR glasses

Tim Cook states technology not yet advanced enough for AR glasses

According to Cook, AR-enabled websites will soon become mandatory, regardless of the industry. But this hasn't stopped speculation in recent months centering on the idea of Apple building a new AR product - specifically, a pair of augmented reality glasses, similar to Google Glass, but made into a commercial success. Glasses. For years, tech bloggers have salivated over the promise of AR glasses designed by Apple - ones that would offer greater capabilities than Google's ill-fated Google Glass, and look slicker, too.

Speaking to The Independent in a wide-ranging interview during his European tour this week, Cook said that "the technology itself doesn't exist" to create augmented reality glasses that would work "in a quality way". The display technology required, as well as putting enough stuff around your face - there's huge challenges with that.

"The field of view, the quality of the display itself, it's not there yet", he says.

He also reiterated that Apple was not concerned with being first to market with such a product, but would rather wait till it had the best product in the segment. "I think it's going to be hard for other folks". Still, don't pay attention to those various rumours that companies have smart glasses on the way - particularly not where Apple is involved.

All that said, it's extremely likely that Apple is in fact researching the feasibility of AR powered glasses, but it may not ever be something Apple ever releases.

Oculus Go is Oculus' standalone, $199 VR headset
Interestingly, Oculus claims that the headset+controller combo "bring the power of Rift and Touch to the standalone category". In terms of games and applications, it sounds like most of the stuff that already works on Gear VR also works on Oculus Go.

Over the past few years, technology startups and brands including Rimmel and Gap have launched apps that invite shoppers to "try on" make-up and clothes virtually.

AR technology covers a wide market, from the Pokémon Go smartphone game, to a new Ikea app which lets you place virtual furniture in your actual house using an iPhone's camera, to high-end hardware like the Microsoft HoloLens.

Cook's embrace of AR shouldn't come as much of a surprise.

"The way that you get lots of great ideas is for us to do the heavy lifting of the complexity of locational things and software, and put those in the operating system".

Coding, says Apple CEO Tim Cook, is the best foreign language that a student in any country can learn. "And then you have all the developers that are able to put their energy into their passion", said Cook.