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Tim Cook Thinks Retailers Will Find Augmented Reality as Key as Having a Website

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Apple CEO Tim Cook believes there isn't any sector or industry that will be untouched by augmented reality going forward.

Tim Cook via Alastair Nicol for Vogue

In a recent interview with Vogue, Cook said he believes the technology will transform everything from fashion runway shows to shopping.
"If you think about a runway show in the fashion world, that's a great application of AR because some of these, you want to see the dress all the way around, you do not want to just see the front." That kind of experience is all the more important now that runway shows are catering to a wider consumer audience watching online, and not just those seated in the front rows, he added.
Apple's chief envisions a world where customers will essentially be able to "point and buy" products. If your friend is wearing a pair of shoes you like, for example, you could point your iPhone at them, and a shopping app could instantly bring up information about the pair with the option to purchase them online.
"We don't have a plan to collect all of these objects, but I know companies who are working on that for their products," Cook said. "If you think about companies that offer a fair number of shoes, and [if a customer] sees a shoe and goes I want that one, you just want to point and [buy]. That will be a part of the shopping experience of the future, it absolutely will."
Cook is so confident in augmented reality's future that he believes the technology will become "as key as having a website" for brands.


Some retailers have already implemented augmented reality features using Apple's new ARKit platform on iOS 11. IKEA, for example, has released an app called IKEA Place that lets you virtually place furniture in your home, with true-to-scale models of everything from sofas and armchairs to footstools and coffee tables.

Cook thinks the current selection of augmented reality apps is only the very beginning of what's to come in the years ahead.

In one early ARKit demo, for instance, a woman is able to virtually try on various shades of lipstick and quickly choose her preferred color.


Later in the video, the woman browses a virtual aisle of images of herself with various cosmetics digitally applied, making her selection a much simpler process than the traditional hassle of physical makeup application.


Cook also said that the technology needed for augmented reality glasses "doesn't exist to do that in a quality way," suggesting that widely rumored Apple Glasses won't be released "any time soon."
"There are rumours and gossip about companies working on that, and we obviously don't talk about what we work on. But today I can tell you that the technology itself doesn't exist to do that in a quality way," Cook said. "We don't give a rats about being first, we want to be best in creating people's experiences. Something that you would see out in the market any time soon would not be something that any of us would be satisfied with."
Cook's sit-down discussion appears to be the same one that The Independent covered earlier this week.

Full Interview: Apple's Tim Cook On The Future Of Fashion & Shopping

Article Link: Tim Cook Thinks Retailers Will Find Augmented Reality as Key as Having a Website
 

Relentless Power

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Jul 12, 2016
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I think Cook and Company have a passion for augmented reality in the future and ultimately have a vision of where this is all leading too. It's going to go way beyond what a phone can do over years time. I think this is the potential to bring some really exciting capabilities, but it's also likely a long maturity process behind it.
 
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Appleaker

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There are sectors that will be untouched, a website design company is just one example. But it will no doubt be impactful.
 
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convergent

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I think Cook and Company have a passion for augmented reality in the future and ultimately have a vision of where this is all leading too. It's going to go way beyond what a phone can do over years time. I think this is the potential to bring some really exciting capabilities, but it's also likely a long maturity process behind it.

I find a hard time putting "Cook" and "vision" in the same sentence. Right now this stuff is a hammer looking for a nail. I agree we are a LONG way off before this becomes mainstream, and it will remain to be seen who figures it out. Apple has no advantage here vs. everyone else. All that tech on the iPhone X that is holding up production could be used for AR, but its on the wrong side of the phone.
 
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haydn!

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There are sectors that will be untouched, a website design company is just one example. But it will no doubt be impactful.

I disagree. I think it will find it’s place in web design and development too. As more and more people use mobile devices to browse the web you’ll want to see a merging of these AR abilities with the web. Imagine browsing a retailers website, selecting a product and being able to hold your phone straight away to see how it may look in your Home or even on you in a mirror?
 
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Amacfa

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I think Cook and Company have a passion for augmented reality in the future and ultimately have a vision of where this is all leading too. It's going to go way beyond what a phone can do over years time. I think this is the potential to bring some really exciting capabilities, but it's also likely a long maturity process behind it.
They are laying the foundation, then the glasses come, there will be content waiting for it.
 
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Oblivious.Robot

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Sep 15, 2014
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I'm definitely excited about the potential ARkit games that will eventually show up over the course of time.
Hopefully iPhone X and it's A11 is powerful enough that will take full advantage and bring something mind-blowing, literally and figuratively lol. :D
 
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Relentless Power

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Jul 12, 2016
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I find a hard time putting "Cook" and "vision" in the same sentence

Perhaps put aside your personal differences with Tim Cook and discuss Apples vision for this technology. You have to look way past the iPhone, because it's going to lead past with the iPhone can do ultimately. Augmented reality is In its infancy of basic core functionality. And over years time, this is going to lead to a whole new spectrum with AR glasses and other features that will change industries around us. Just wait for it.
 
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mattopotamus

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Jun 12, 2012
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I am moving in about a month, and I cannot even tell you how excited I am for this. I really want to be able to take a photo of my current furniture and see how it will fit at the new place.
 
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redscull

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How is any of what we’ve seen so far even augmented reality except in the most simplistic, gimmicky sense? All the screenshots I’ve seen look like crappy photoshopped pictures. Big whoop. What good is a furniture previewing AR app if it can’t properly account for the actual live lighting in the setting, apply that to the rendered furniture item, with proper shadows and all? Showing me your stock image aligned to my floor is almost 100% pointless.
 
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mattopotamus

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Jun 12, 2012
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How is any of what we’ve seen so far even augmented reality except in the most simplistic, gimmicky sense? All the screenshots I’ve seen look like crappy photoshopped pictures. Big whoop. What good is a furniture previewing AR app if it can’t properly account for the actual live lighting in the setting, apply that to the rendered furniture item, with proper shadows and all? Showing me your stock image aligned to my floor is almost 100% pointless.

I see your argument, but you can get a good idea of the size in your actually room. Also, if you were furnishing an entire room you could see if it would all fit. A lot better than measuring out IMO.
 
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deanthedev

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AR will be the final nail in the coffin for retail. I predict clothing will be the next big use for AR.

Why do people still visit clothing stores? To try things on for proper fit. Imagine trying on clothes at home, where they are rendered on you based on your actual body dimensions?
 
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gugy

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I would say the impact will be beyond retail. Sports, live events and many other industries could take advantage of this.
 
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Glockworkorange

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I find a hard time putting "Cook" and "vision" in the same sentence. Right now this stuff is a hammer looking for a nail. I agree we are a LONG way off before this becomes mainstream, and it will remain to be seen who figures it out. Apple has no advantage here vs. everyone else. All that tech on the iPhone X that is holding up production could be used for AR, but its on the wrong side of the phone.
Yeah, I am still looking for all of the nice AR apps. There were so many very cool demonstrations during the beta period that I expected to see a flood of unique apps when iOS launched. I was wrong...
 
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mattopotamus

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Jun 12, 2012
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AR will be the final nail in the coffin for retail. I predict clothing will be the next big use for AR.

Why do people still visit clothing stores? To try things on for proper fit. Imagine trying on clothes at home, where they are rendered on you based on your actual body dimensions?

Many online clothing company and even Amazon are already putting an end to clothing stores. Amazon will actually ship you what you want before you pay, keep what you want and then they charge you (amazon wardrobe customers).
 
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ActionableMango

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Sep 21, 2010
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These examples seem gimmicky and designed to sell me stuff. I can see why the retailers care, but they are not compelling use cases for me.

My favorite use of AR so far is the Google Translate app which puts English text over foreign language text. I've used this in foreign countries (and even here in the USA) for things like restaurant menus, grocery stores, and signs. This use case has a real and impactful utility to me. Of course this has been available for years, long before ARKit.

 
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mi7chy

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Oct 24, 2014
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Not everyone believes the hype from this tech illiterate.

AR while holding a handheld device faded away in 2013 so it's highly doubtful it'll come back. AR is only useful when it's hands-free such as a windshield HUD in a car, visor, etc.
 
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Vanilla35

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Apr 11, 2013
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I can't wait to walk through store aisles where everyone is holding their phone in front of them looking around.

This is what I find truly limiting about AR. In hectic day to day use, it seems kind of ridiculous. In less hectic casual use, it seems productive.

I only see this changing when smart glasses are a thing.
 
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tkermit

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I like it as a tech demo and think it's great that people are working on it and that it's an active area of research, but for some reason I don't really feel like I'm missing out on anything if I don't try it out in the near future. Maybe I lack vision or I'm just getting "old", but overall I'm not seeing how this will positively affect my life yet. As a consumer, it certainly wouldn't make me buy a new iPhone.
 
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