'Profits will follow' if Apple can nail AR & VR experiences, Cook says

Posted:
in Future Apple Hardware
Apple CEO Tim Cook once again touched on the topics of augmented and virtual reality during a Q4 results call, avoiding specific talk about future hardware while hinting at the company's approach.

Google Glass, a precursor to modern AR technology.
Google Glass, a precursor to modern AR technology.


"In terms of monetization of AR/VR, we focus first and foremost on customer experience," Cook said in response to an analyst question. "We're all about making sure the customer experience is great. We think if we get the experience right, revenue and profits will follow. We're very much focused on the experience right now."

The executive called AR "profound," but actually downplayed the first ARKit apps appearing on the App Store.

"I view AR as profound. Not today, not the app you'll see on the App Store today, but what it will be, what it can be, I think it's profound, and I think Apple is in a really unique position to lead in this area," he said.

Cook in fact claimed that AR will "change the way we use technology forever," and that "it should be a help for humanity, not an isolation kind of thing for humanity."

Apple has been extremely secretive about its long-term AR plans, but has neither confirmed nor denied rumors that it's working on AR glasses. The company has allegedly been experimenting with several different kinds and has yet to settle.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 32
    "In terms of monetization of AR/VR, we focus first and foremost on customer experience,"

    Surprised he included VR in his statement.  
    repressthis
  • Reply 2 of 32
    foggyhillfoggyhill Posts: 4,767member
    He's been uptalking AR for 2 years, Apple has some serious AR products in the pipeline and its not just this Iphone.
    Lightweight AR Glasses are announced in early 2019  for release in late 2019.
    Now, he's starting with VR, so VR is somewhere in the path for 2022. I would guess.
    caliwatto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 32
    Really surprised Apple hasn't picked up ODG .. yet.
  • Reply 4 of 32
    Really surprised Apple hasn't picked up ODG .. yet.
    AR glasses are still a good 5-10 years off. 
    repressthiswatto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 32
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 5,155member
    Really surprised Apple hasn't picked up ODG .. yet.
    AR glasses are still a good 5-10 years off. 
    I agree...AR Kit is just the tip of the iceberg. I think Apple has major plans for this in the future for many of its products, not just iPhone. 
    repressthiswatto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 32
    cgWerkscgWerks Posts: 2,659member
    I think he's somewhat wrong... but then again, I wouldn't have bet all the chips on poop emojis either. On the bright side, at least some of the technology involved with pulling off VR is probably useful for other things. Does this mean Apple will finally have a reasonable GPU in their products?

    re: "We're all about making sure the customer experience is great. We think if we get the experience right, revenue and profits will follow. We're very much focused on the experience right now."

    I'm pretty sure (judging by other things they've been doing) that he just knows this is the language he needs to use. I'm not sure he actually understands the concept. I bet he just knows it's good marketing speak he learned from Jobs. Sheesh!
  • Reply 7 of 32
    cgWerkscgWerks Posts: 2,659member
    Maybe more like this?
    repressthis
  • Reply 8 of 32
    Really surprised Apple hasn't picked up ODG .. yet.
    AR glasses are still a good 5-10 years off. 
    I'm holding out for AR contact lenses. :smirk: 
  • Reply 9 of 32
    Glasses are not the only way forward for AR. Tim Cook continues to talk about the AR experience bringing people together for information sharing. He doesn’t talk about the AR experience being closed. Glasses isolate people. I don’t know what Apple has in development for AR but there are clues that glasses are not the answer. Apple is improving True Depth and computer vision is already gone baked into CoreML. Both do not require glasses just cameras in iPhones, iPads, iPods. Glasses may get developed but won’t be the holy grail answer. Seeing AppleInsider lead with expanded thinking instead of constant regurgitation might be asking too much. Still, I ask it to think broader. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 32
    "In terms of monetization of AR/VR, we focus first and foremost on customer experience,"

    Surprised he included VR in his statement.  
    He mentioned both AR and VR only because the analyst’s question included both, and Tim was echoing back the question. Beyond that, his discussion of the topic focused exclusively on AR. 
    repressthiswatto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 32
    MacProMacPro Posts: 19,307member
    "In terms of monetization of AR/VR, we focus first and foremost on customer experience,"

    Surprised he included VR in his statement.  
    I totally get why you wrote that but I'd kind of glad he did because maybe Tim knows something we don't yet. /fingers crossed

    One day I truly hope a company gets VR right and who better to come in late with the right way of doing things than Apple? I could be my inner Treky (or is that Trekie lol) but I really would love my own personal holodeck and be able to explore places I can't get to.  Not to mention the experiences that would be available to the paralyzed, handicapped and bed ridden.
  • Reply 12 of 32
    MacProMacPro Posts: 19,307member

    "In terms of monetization of AR/VR, we focus first and foremost on customer experience,"

    Surprised he included VR in his statement.  
    He mentioned both AR and VR only because the analyst’s question included both, and Tim was echoing back the question. Beyond that, his discussion of the topic focused exclusively on AR. 
    I agree but I still have hopes for Apple and VR one day.
    edited November 2017 repressthis
  • Reply 13 of 32
    cgWerks said:
    I think he's somewhat wrong... but then again, I wouldn't have bet all the chips on poop emojis either. On the bright side, at least some of the technology involved with pulling off VR is probably useful for other things. Does this mean Apple will finally have a reasonable GPU in their products?

    re: "We're all about making sure the customer experience is great. We think if we get the experience right, revenue and profits will follow. We're very much focused on the experience right now."

    I'm pretty sure (judging by other things they've been doing) that he just knows this is the language he needs to use. I'm not sure he actually understands the concept. I bet he just knows it's good marketing speak he learned from Jobs. Sheesh!

    I don't precisely agree that he doesn't understand the concept.  I think he does, however, I've also seen and heard him make similar statements about other products and services, so I think at this point it's more of a mantra than anything else.  I'm sure he understands the base concept of "if you build it (correctly), they will come" though.
    cgWerks
  • Reply 14 of 32
    flaneurflaneur Posts: 4,526member
    cgWerks said:
    I think he's somewhat wrong... but then again, I wouldn't have bet all the chips on poop emojis either. On the bright side, at least some of the technology involved with pulling off VR is probably useful for other things. Does this mean Apple will finally have a reasonable GPU in their products?

    re: "We're all about making sure the customer experience is great. We think if we get the experience right, revenue and profits will follow. We're very much focused on the experience right now."

    I'm pretty sure (judging by other things they've been doing) that he just knows this is the language he needs to use. I'm not sure he actually understands the concept. I bet he just knows it's good marketing speak he learned from Jobs. Sheesh!
    Horsefeathers. Tim saying that AR technology is as fundamental as the iPhone is/was, and saying that he's so excited about the potential of AR that he "could scream" are both instances that tell me that he knows we're moving toward a revolution in the way always-with-you computers will be used to interact with the world. 

    He's seen what his company is working on; you haven't.

    Speculating here, pun intended, AR glasses that switch from a real-world view to an overlay of stereo video that includes real-time data of any objects your eyes focus on along the z-axis in the real-world scene will be the most amazing and engaging thing computers have yet done for us. Just my opinion on what Tim has been tripping out on in the labs.
    calimmatz
  • Reply 15 of 32
    The iPhone X has potentially all the functionality of AR glasses ... well apart from the ability to balance on your nose.

    I find the Face Tracking very interesting ... also the bezel-less design.

    Face ID has the ability to track your eyes. By fast processing of the camera signal a seamless copy of reality could be displayed on the screen of the phone. A copy of reality that fits in exactly with the actual reality around it (a very small seam being caused by the bezel). Over this copy of reality, anything could be written or drawn.

    Face Tracking is great, but it is not doing much useful at the moment ... animating lumps of poo ? OK it also unlocks your iPhone but that was done well enough with the old Touch ID.

    I have a feeling that Face Tracking will suddenly become a lot more useful in the not so distant future.

    Also AR on iPhone X would avoid the social problems that Google Glass engendered.
    cali
  • Reply 16 of 32
    FolioFolio Posts: 698member
    Staigard, I can't wait for face tracking app during navigation. Heck, even have AR overlay when I'm not paying attention to ***FLASH FLASH FLASH*** over the real world highway exit sign.
  • Reply 17 of 32
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 11,274member
    cgWerks said:

    re: "We're all about making sure the customer experience is great. We think if we get the experience right, revenue and profits will follow. We're very much focused on the experience right now."

    I'm pretty sure (judging by other things they've been doing) that he just knows this is the language he needs to use. I'm not sure he actually understands the concept. I bet he just knows it's good marketing speak he learned from Jobs. Sheesh!
    Nuts. Of course he understands it, which is why he empowers his organization to do exactly that. 

    I’m amazed by the armchair executives still convinced that Cook has no idea what he’s doing despite running the most successful public firm in human history for years and years. (it’s been said that even while Jobs was alive Cook performed much of the traditional CEO responsibilities while Jobs did product management, which is its own role). 

    Cook is better at running Apple than you are or would be. Sorry that’s hard to admit. 
    edited November 2017 macxpresscalimmatzwatto_cobra
  • Reply 18 of 32
    cgWerkscgWerks Posts: 2,659member
    beowulfschmidt said:
    I don't precisely agree that he doesn't understand the concept.  I think he does, however, I've also seen and heard him make similar statements about other products and services, so I think at this point it's more of a mantra than anything else.  I'm sure he understands the base concept of "if you build it (correctly), they will come" though.
    Maybe, though it's shocking how few businesses seem to get it, or even if they do, actually implement it. If Apple/Jobs hadn't, they wouldn't be where they are now. And, while Tim plays lip-service to it... I don't think he's implementing it, at least not as completely as Jobs did.

    flaneur said:
    Horsefeathers. Tim saying that AR technology is as fundamental as the iPhone is/was, and saying that he's so excited about the potential of AR that he "could scream" are both instances that tell me that he knows we're moving toward a revolution in the way always-with-you computers will be used to interact with the world. 

    He's seen what his company is working on; you haven't.

    Speculating here, pun intended, AR glasses that switch from a real-world view to an overlay of stereo video that includes real-time data of any objects your eyes focus on along the z-axis in the real-world scene will be the most amazing and engaging thing computers have yet done for us. Just my opinion on what Tim has been tripping out on in the labs.
    I don't know. I'm a old 3D guy. I've been into Sci-Fi for a long time, and probably played with some of this stuff long before Tim did. No doubt, he has more knowledge of the current and future capabilities than I do. But, I'm not so much questioning the capabilities and when we'll get there, as much as how big of a thing it will be. While I can see some usefulness, just like I see for the Apple Watch, I don't see it as any kind of game-changer. It's a really cool science-geek-out kind of novelty, though.... with some verticals.

    staigard said:
    Also AR on iPhone X would avoid the social problems that Google Glass engendered.
    Bingo! That said, the unknown here is how fast society might shift on what is creepy or not. And, it seems to be moving at light speed in un-thought-out directions.

    StrangeDays said:
    Nuts. Of course he understands it, which is why he empowers his organization to do exactly that. 

    I’m amazed by the armchair executives still convinced that Cook has no idea what he’s doing despite running the most successful public firm in human history for years and years. (it’s been said that even while Jobs was alive Cook performed much of the traditional CEO responsibilities while Jobs did product management, which is its own role). 

    Cook is better at running Apple than you are or would be. Sorry that’s hard to admit. 
    He's better at running it, which is different than leading it. I'm not saying I'd do a better job at all. I am saying that I understand what made Apple successful, and I see all kinds of signs that they are diverging from that path. So, it's more like.... "armchair executives still convinced that Cook has no idea what he’s doing despite changing the most successful public firm". My (our) point, is that if Apple fundamentally changes what made them successful, they might not be down the road somewhere, no matter how well managed.
  • Reply 19 of 32
    flaneurflaneur Posts: 4,526member
    staigard said:
    The iPhone X has potentially all the functionality of AR glasses ... well apart from the ability to balance on your nose.

    I find the Face Tracking very interesting ... also the bezel-less design.

    Face ID has the ability to track your eyes. By fast processing of the camera signal a seamless copy of reality could be displayed on the screen of the phone. A copy of reality that fits in exactly with the actual reality around it (a very small seam being caused by the bezel). Over this copy of reality, anything could be written or drawn.

    Face Tracking is great, but it is not doing much useful at the moment ... animating lumps of poo ? OK it also unlocks your iPhone but that was done well enough with the old Touch ID.

    I have a feeling that Face Tracking will suddenly become a lot more useful in the not so distant future.

    Also AR on iPhone X would avoid the social problems that Google Glass engendered.
    I do not understand how people ignore the fact that they have two eyes that provide two visual fields that are merged in the brain to provide the perception of depth, substantiality, texture and space itself — natively, out of the binocular architecture of the visual system, and then they pretend that a flat, two-dimensional rectangular electronic display will substitute for the sublimnity of that stereo perception.

    What Tim is talking about when he says Apple is focusing on "customer experience" is clearly something more than what you are talking about, which they already have running on iPads in the new Apple Park visitor center. I'm almost positive that he's talking about a way to make wearable screens that would only make sense if they were binocular, stereo 3D, as well as being transparent to the Reality part of AR, the world you see around you when you wear your normal glasses or sunglasses, in other words.
    staigardmmatz
  • Reply 20 of 32
    flaneurflaneur Posts: 4,526member

    cgWerks said:
    beowulfschmidt said:
    I don't precisely agree that he doesn't understand the concept.  I think he does, however, I've also seen and heard him make similar statements about other products and services, so I think at this point it's more of a mantra than anything else.  I'm sure he understands the base concept of "if you build it (correctly), they will come" though.
    Maybe, though it's shocking how few businesses seem to get it, or even if they do, actually implement it. If Apple/Jobs hadn't, they wouldn't be where they are now. And, while Tim plays lip-service to it... I don't think he's implementing it, at least not as completely as Jobs did.

    flaneur said:
    Horsefeathers. Tim saying that AR technology is as fundamental as the iPhone is/was, and saying that he's so excited about the potential of AR that he "could scream" are both instances that tell me that he knows we're moving toward a revolution in the way always-with-you computers will be used to interact with the world. 

    He's seen what his company is working on; you haven't.

    Speculating here, pun intended, AR glasses that switch from a real-world view to an overlay of stereo video that includes real-time data of any objects your eyes focus on along the z-axis in the real-world scene will be the most amazing and engaging thing computers have yet done for us. Just my opinion on what Tim has been tripping out on in the labs.
    I don't know. I'm a old 3D guy. I've been into Sci-Fi for a long time, and probably played with some of this stuff long before Tim did. No doubt, he has more knowledge of the current and future capabilities than I do. But, I'm not so much questioning the capabilities and when we'll get there, as much as how big of a thing it will be. While I can see some usefulness, just like I see for the Apple Watch, I don't see it as any kind of game-changer. It's a really cool science-geek-out kind of novelty, though.... with some verticals.

    staigard said:
    Also AR on iPhone X would avoid the social problems that Google Glass engendered.
    Bingo! That said, the unknown here is how fast society might shift on what is creepy or not. And, it seems to be moving at light speed in un-thought-out directions.

    StrangeDays said:
    Nuts. Of course he understands it, which is why he empowers his organization to do exactly that. 

    I’m amazed by the armchair executives still convinced that Cook has no idea what he’s doing despite running the most successful public firm in human history for years and years. (it’s been said that even while Jobs was alive Cook performed much of the traditional CEO responsibilities while Jobs did product management, which is its own role). 

    Cook is better at running Apple than you are or would be. Sorry that’s hard to admit. 
    He's better at running it, which is different than leading it. I'm not saying I'd do a better job at all. I am saying that I understand what made Apple successful, and I see all kinds of signs that they are diverging from that path. So, it's more like.... "armchair executives still convinced that Cook has no idea what he’s doing despite changing the most successful public firm". My (our) point, is that if Apple fundamentally changes what made them successful, they might not be down the road somewhere, no matter how well managed.
    If you don't think a real-time index of the world around you that's connected to a tracking of your binocular gaze into a scene in three dimensions, whereby you can fix on an object at a given distance in the scene, and the system will be aware of that fixation and respond accordingly, if you don't think this is at least a "game-changing" pointing device for a computer interface, then there's no hope — until maybe you do like Jobs did and open up your right brain by taking some proper doses. 


    edited November 2017
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