Published: Wed, October 11, 2017
Research | By Raquel Erickson

Apple is leaving an Augmented Reality window of opportunity for Microsoft

"I think it's going to be hard for other folks". Afterall, the company did introduce an ARKit for iOS 11. With ARKit, Apple hopes to get more developers onboard to ensure that the AR tech matures fast and a lot of people have access to it. "The field of view, the quality of the display itself, it's not there yet".

Apple has the scale to stay ahead of its competition in both the short term and the long term. The concept envisioned by tech leaders and enthusiasts would see you wear glasses that overlay digital information on the real world as you look around.

Cook has been a vocal supporter of AR for some time, claiming its impact on consumer technology will be more profound than that of virtual reality (VR), despite the latter taking an early lead with hardware like the Samsung Gear VR and HTC Vive.

Over the past few years, technology startups and brands including Rimmel and Gap have launched apps that invite shoppers to "try on" make-up and clothes virtually. Could that be about to change? Cook paid a surprise visit to Eldim, a Normandy-based firm that develops optical technology, used in the facial recognition system inside new top-of-the-line iPhone X smartphones due out next month. But Apple does plan to support companies who might embark on such an endeavour, he said.

When asked about smart glasses, Cook reportedly said: "There are rumours and stuff about companies working on those - we obviously don't talk about what we're working on". You think about all the problems in the world - half of them would be solved with just that! "That will be a part of the shopping experience of the future, it absolutely will". But the bloggers will have to wait a little longer. "We want to be best" Speaking in an interview with Vogue, Cook said this remains unrealistic and would require compromises Apple's not willing to make. In typical fashion, he did not disclose any information about the products that Apple now have in development but he did say that the technology to create augmented reality smart glasses "in a quality way" does not yet exist. "Anything you would see on the market any time soon would not be something any of us would be satisfied with", Cook told The Independent.

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