Apple CEO Tim Cook is very excited about augmented reality (AR). In an interview with Bloomberg Businessweek, he went as far as saying that he just wants “to yell out and scream” to express his excitement.
At its annual WWDC developer conference earlier this month, Apple introduced ARKit, a developer toolkit that will allow developers to build applications that use the iPhone or iPad’s cameras to superimpose virtual objects onto the real world.
“Even we can’t predict what’s going to come out,” Cook said, albeit specifying that there are “some things that you can already get a vision of.” Specifically, Apple has partnered with IKEA, which is building 3D images of their furniture line that would eventually let users get a sense of how a certain item would fit in their home environment.
“You’re talking about changing the whole experience of how you shop for, in this case, furniture and other objects that you can place around the home,” Cook said. “You can take that idea and begin to think this is something that stretches from enterprise to consumer. There’s not a lot of things that do that.”
“When I think about the big things, I think about AR,” he later added, when asked to respond to criticism about Apple not being as innovative as it once was. “We’re not the first people talking about AR. Nor was it our objective to be. We wanted something well thought out that we could integrate into the platform and unleash a lot of developers to do some really cool stuff with it. We’ve got a great initial start there.”
In the interview Cook also touched on the price of Apple’s newly announced HomePod smart speaker, whose $349 (£274) price tag has been seen as too high, especially when compared to competing products like Amazon’s Echo and Google’s Home, which cost $179 (£140) and $129 (£101) respectively.
“If you remember when the iPod was introduced, a lot of people said, ‘Why would anybody pay $399 for an MP3 player?’ And when iPhone was announced, it was, ‘Is anybody gonna pay’—whatever it was at that time—’for an iPhone?’,” Cook said. “The iPad went through the same thing. We have a pretty good track record of giving people something that they may not have known that they wanted.”