Tim Cook Proclaims Augmented Reality ‘Will Happen In A Big Way’

There are a handful of truly influential companies, firms that have changed the world and continue to do so. Apple is one of them, so when Apple CEO Tim Cook talks about the next big in technology, there's good reason to listen, even if you don't agree with what he's saying. During a recent question and answer session with Republican Senator Orrin Hatch in Utah, one of the things Cook talked about was augmented reality and its path to mass adoption.

Whatever your feelings about Apple, few would disagree that it's a major driver of consumer culture. Apple helped popularize the PC as a home appliance and it played a critical role in accelerating the adoption of mobile devices as everyday accessories, ones that are both fashionable and functional. It's why Apple, at its peak, was worth over $700 billion (today it's market capitalization is around $603 billion).

Apple doesn't necessarily invent brand new technologies (sometimes it does), but it has a positive track record of taking existing ones and turning them in a cultural phenomenon, as it did with both the iPhone and the iPad. Could AR be next?

"I do think that a significant portion of the population of developed countries, and eventually all countries, will have AR experiences every day. It will be almost like eating three meals a day because it will become that much a part of you," Cook said in response to a question about virtual reality and AR. "A lot of us live on our smartphones, the iPhone, I hope, is very important for everyone, so AR think will become really big. VR I think is not going to be that big, compared to AR. I’m not saying it’s not important, it is important."

Cook's vision of AR experiences being as common and routine as "eating three meals a day" isn't one that will happen overnight. He sees AR being "enabled in the operating system first" where it would be the precursor to mass adoption.

"It has be something that everyone in here views to be an acceptable thing, and nobody in here, few people in here, think it's acceptable to be tethered to a computer walking in here and sitting down," Cook explained.

Though it will take some time for AR to reach mass adoption, there's little doubt in Cook's mind that it will get there. And when it does, he says we'll wonder how we ever lived without it, much in the same way we view our mobile phones today.

What do you think, do you agree with Cook that AR is headed for mass adoption, or do you think it's destined to remain a niche technology?

Thumbnail Image Source: Flicker (iphonedigital)