In Saturday’s Washington Post interview, Jena McGregor asked Apple CEO Tim Cook whether he, the head of the world’s most formidable tech company, would share anything about a potential Apple A.R. project.
He, being a responsible CEO, did not share the explicit details. But — notably — he did confirm that an Apple A.R. product is in the pipeline, which is big news — and more than he was willing to share about the Apple car. Here’s his response to McGregor’s direct question:
“I think AR is extremely interesting and sort of a core technology. So, yes, it’s something we’re doing a lot of things on behind that curtain that we talked about. [Laughs.]“
The “curtain” he’s referencing is a tenet of Apple product releases: keep all projects veiled, or completely concealed behind the curtain, until they’re complete. Only once they’re complete will Apple raise the curtain and occasionally blow minds. Apple, unlike Google with its failed Glass, has had extraordinary patience within the A.R. world. Google’s strategy is to throw a bunch of material into the ocean and see what floats, whereas Apple toils away to guarantee that whatever it tosses in will be buoyant.
So Cook’s admission is both a slight breach in strategy and a sign that what will likely become the future’s best A.R. product is, at this point, little more than a whisper. Sure, Magic Leap will enjoy its spot in the limelight — for a time. Its A.R. headset will do all sorts of entertaining — and frightening — things. Microsoft, with its HoloLens, will attempt to stay ahead of Apple. But, unless the power dynamic has changed — spoiler: it hasn’t — Apple will triumph.
Augmented reality headsets will be all up on everyone’s heads in the future, but rest assured that Apple’s eventual plunge into that market will be the real impetus.Photos via Getty Images / Justin Sullivan, Getty Images / Stephen Lam