Apple CEO Tim Cook called augmented reality (AR) “critically important” to Apple’s future, hinted the tech giant was developing an autonomous vehicle, and revealed he doesn't see himself still running Apple in ten years during a podcast interview. You can listen to it or read the transcript here.
Cook on AR / XR:
- Talking to journalist Kara Swisher on her podcast, Sway, Cook declined to say more about Apple's upcoming XR headset and AR glasses. However, he noted AR, in general, could be used to improve conversations. Cook also observed how AR is taking off via mobile phone experiences in health, education, gaming, and retail.
- The company's mixed-reality headset could be revealed in the next several months. Rumors speculate that Apple could announce the device during its next Worldwide Developers Conference in June.
Apple's AV ambitions:
- Cook called the autonomous car "a robot" that Apple is investigating internally. Apple continues to take steps towards developing its own autonomous electric vehicle and software, though Cook noted that its experimental projects often "never see the light of day."
- When asked if it would be technology within a car or a car itself, Cook replied: "We love to integrate hardware, software, and services, and find the intersection points of those because we think that’s where the magic occurs."
- Swisher also noted how Elon Musk had offered to sell Tesla to Apple at 1/10 its value, but claimed Cook "wouldn’t even take a meeting with him." Cook told Swisher he has never spoken with Musk but has "great admiration and respect for the company he’s built," especially given Tesla's longtime lead in the EV space.
- Apple has been secretly working on an autonomous vehicle for years. It has already developed key software such as underlying processors and artificial intelligence algorithms and has been testing its robotaxi technology (with a human safety driver) on California's public roads.
- In February, Financial Times reported Apple approached Nissan about a potential partnership to build an electric autonomous vehicle. But talks fell apart after both sides disagreed on branding.