Tim Cook says Apple wants to use AR to make conversations better

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Apple CEO Tim Cook rarely gives details of unannounced products, but he gave some hints about Apple’s thinking about augmented reality and cars in an interview. with Kara Swisher in front The New York Times this morning

When it comes to augmented reality, he agreed with Swisher’s framing that the technology is “critical” to Apple’s future and said it could be used to enhance conversations.

“You and I are having a great conversation right now. No doubt it could be even better if we could expand our discussion with graphs or other stuff to appear, ”said Cook. He envisions AR being used in healthcare, education, retail, and gaming. “I already see AR taking off in some of these areas using the phone. And I think the promise is even greater in the future. “

Apple has been rumored to be working on an augmented reality headset for years, and the latest leaks suggested a mixed reality device could launch next year. Augmented reality features are already available on the iPhone and iPad, but aside from some nice Snapchat filters, augmented reality hasn’t been used that much yet.

Cook also spoke widely about Apple’s approach to products during a question about automobiles. Leaks from Apple make it unclear whether the company is developing self-driving technology that it can license to other companies or whether Apple plans to develop an entire car of its own. Cook’s latest comments suggest the latter, assuming the project comes to fruition.

“We love to integrate hardware, software and services and find their intersections because we think that’s where the magic is,” said Cook. “And that’s what we like to do. And we love to own the primary technology around it. “

Cook called “autonomy” a “core technology” and said there are “many things you can do with it” about robots. But he cautioned that not every Apple project ends up shipping. “We investigate so many things internally. Many of them never see the light of day, ”Cook said. “I’m not saying they won’t do that.”

Swisher also asked Cook about Elon Musk’s comments about a failed attempt to discuss the sale of Tesla to Apple around 2017. “You know, I’ve never spoken to Elon,” said Cook, “although I have great admiration and respect for the business he has built.”