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macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001

Speaking at Università Degli Studi di Napoli Federico II in Naples, Italy, Apple CEO Tim Cook said that not too long from today, people will wonder how they led a life without augmented reality, stressing the "profound" impact it will have on the not so distant future.


At the university, Cook was awarded an Honorary Degree in Innovation and International Management and also sat down for a Q&A session with students. Responding to a question from a student on what future technologies excite him the most, Cook pointed to artificial intelligence, calling it a "fundamental, horizontal technology that will touch everything in our lives," ranging from innovations in the Apple Watch to "many other things" Apple is working on.

Cook, more importantly, stressed his excitement for augmented reality. Cook suggested that augmented reality's impact on the world will be as profound as the internet itself, saying people will wonder how they led a life without it. As he was speaking on augmented reality, the live stream of the Q&A session abruptly cut, so Cook's full comment on the subject is not publicly known.
I'm super excited about augmented reality. Because I think that we've had a great conversation here today, but if we could augment that with something from the virtual world, it would have arguably been even better. So I think that if you, and this will happen clearly not too long from now, if you look back at a point in time, you know, zoom out to the future and look back, you'll wonder how you led your life without augmented reality. Just like today, we wonder, how did people like me grow up without the internet. And so I think it could be that profound, and it's not going to be profound overnight...
Cook has in the past expressed his personal excitement for augmented reality and has hinted that Apple is working on AR/VR products. The company's first AR/VR product, a high-end headset rumored to be called "Reality Pro," is expected to be announced as soon as January. The headset has been in development for several years and will be Apple's first major new product since the "One more thing" introduction of the Apple Watch in 2014.

"Reality Pro" is rumored to feature a lightweight design, two 4K micro-OLED displays, 15 optical modules, two main processors, Wi-Fi 6E connectivity, eye tracking, and more. The headset will run the realityOS operating system, which was seemingly confirmed by App Store logs. The device is expected to cost somewhere around $3,000, with a more affordable option reportedly in the works.

Article Link: Tim Cook: Not Too Long From Now, You'll Wonder How You Led Your Life Without AR


macrumors 68020
Sep 29, 2008
I agree with him. AR is much different from VR. Once Apple has glasses (or contacts) like what Tim is wearing in the photo, AR has the opportunity to be life-changing. Easier navigation, built-in teleprompters, ability to see overlays during technical work (surgeries, mechanical work on products), and much more.


macrumors 6502
Feb 13, 2012
Ottawa, Ontario
The use-case I'm imagining for this has me seriously pumped - though I have zero reason to believe this will be a reality.

I'm thinking this will be a content consumption device, but also a work device.

Imagine sitting at a desk that has a mouse and keyboard, but no monitor. You put on your Apple headset, and an augmented version of MacOS is displayed infront of your eyes. The 'monitor(s)' you would use are projected by the device, while you still see the room you're in, and the desk you're sitting at.

This would allow you to have as many screens as you like, at whatever sizes you like, while arranging and manipulating them as you see fit (with a mouse, as we do now, or maybe with your hands). Alternatively, there may not be any 'screens' at all, but you simply move windows/apps around, or snap them to fixed locations; there are many possibilities.

Being able to see the world around you through the device would be key to this working - think AR, rather than VR. Information is projected into your world, as you can look down at your keybord for typing, or grab a pen and paper to jot down a note, or reach for your cup of coffee. I don't think a fully virtual world would be ideal for practical work.

With the way AR has been demonstrated in recent years, I don't think it's a stretch to think these virtual screens could be fixed to a certain position in the room - distance from you, as well as location relative to you as you move around.

Not only would this system allow for nearly infinite ways of organizing and displaying your work, but it would be familiar enough so as to not scare off regular people who aren't tech enthusiasts. Granted, there will be significant push-back from those who think they will look silly, but once they get over that, and look at this as being akin to sitting at your desk in front of three giant monitors, they can simply work within MacOS as they normally would - only with more freedom.

I don't think this is a novelty. I think this has the potential to revolutionise how we work day-to-day.


macrumors 68030
Jan 22, 2009
I'm sure he's right...Though, this will be his ultimate test as a 'visionary' in my opinion. Most items after Jobs death have been derivative (or natural industry moves - like going into smart watches).

Personally, I've been doing less screen time on purpose (only apps that show me notifications are Messages & phone) and just use my Apple Watch.
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