Apple CEO Tim Cook Feels Augmented Reality Is A Bigger Bet Over VR For Broad Market Appeal

There's no denying that modern virtual reality can provide one of the most interactive experiences on the planet, and can transport you to another universe like nothing else. However, VR can be expensive and very disorienting for users. If we're talking about mobile VR, such as with Samsung Gear VR, the cost-of-entry is minimal, but the experiences are also not quite on par with full-fledged systems like the Oculus Rift or HTC Vive.

It's for that reason that many believe AR, or augmented reality, has the brighter future. We've seen proof from Pokémon GO that the world is ready to embrace AR.

Volvo HoloLens demo
AR can greatly enhance the car-buying experience

As it happens, Apple's CEO Tim Cook believes in AR as well. In a recent interview with ABC News' Good Morning America, Cook said that AR is more "commercially viable because it allows users to be more 'present'". He continues, "There's virtual reality and there's augmented reality - both of these are incredibly interesting. But my own view is that augmented reality is the larger of the two, probably by far."

It's not hard to understand where Cook is coming from. As much as we hate to bring it up as an example yet again, Pokémon GO proved that AR has massive potential, and anyone with a smartphone can take advantage of it. AR is of course not as immersive as VR, but both technologies have their strengths. Some people might prefer to not be taken away from reality, or their health might be adversely affected by it. We've seen few AR games up to this point though, versus many VR titles, so something does need to change on that front.

With that said, AR has made its impact on the commercial market. Last fall, we reported that Microsoft had been working with Volvo to integrate an AR showroom. That's something we expect to see a lot more of going forward.

With Tim Cook giving AR his support, it does make us wonder: will AR be a major focus of a future product? Perhaps with the iPhone 8?