“There’s virtual reality and there’s augmented reality… my own view is that augmented reality is the larger of the two, probably by far” states Tim Cook, Apple CEO, in a recent interview on Good Morning America.
Cook’s reasoning seems to be that augmented reality (AR), which integrates computer generated sensory input into real life, has a wide range of commercial applications. In comparison virtual reality (VR) is essentially anti-social. On this point Cook explicitly stated that “Virtual reality sort of encloses and immerses the person into an experience that can be really cool but probably has a lower commercial interest over time.”
Tim Cook is not alone in predicting that the market for AR will be larger than VR. In a recent report Global and China VR and AR Industry Report, 2016-2020 it was estimated that the global market for AR will reach $USD90 Billion by 2020, compared to $USD30 Billion for VR.
AR apps, like Pokemon Go, are available for the Apple iPhone but at this point Apple has not yet brought out any products specifically for AR or VR. Cook’s preference for AR over VR does indicate which direction Apple would likely head if it was to develop modified reality technology.