Image: iPhonedigital
Image: iPhonedigital

Tim Cook has been talking about augmented and virtual reality.

One, or maybe both, will change the world.

The main difference is that virtual reality wraps you in a private world, it will be great for movies, games, shopping, even online teaching, and anything that benefits from an all immersive visual feel. Games may ultimately become so realistic, creating a more appealing world than reality, such that some of us may never want to come out of virtual reality.

Augmented reality will be more social – less of a private experience. Augmented reality may enable us to communicate long distance and see holograms of the people we are talking too. Or language translation, or ultimately working via a brain interface (such as using neural lace) to give us direct connection with the internet – turning us all into walking encyclopaedias – or even to AI, enhancing our memory and maybe even our intelligence.

Back to Tim Cook, in an interview with Good Morning America  he said “My own view is that augmented reality is the larger of the two, probably by far, because this gives the capability for both of us to sit and be very present talking to each other, but also have other things visually for both of us to see.”

He continued: “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.”

He added: “Less people will be interested in that, but there are some really cool areas there for education and gaming that we have a lot of interest in.”

Last week, Apple came under criticism for removing the earjack from the iPhone7, and to advance the idea of wireless earphones – the AirPod.

At the time of the launch, it was argued here that critics had missed the point, that the AirPod marked a move towards augmented reality by Apple and as such, the company was showing considerable vision.

Well, similar views have since been suggested elsewhere.

Take these words from the New Scientist:  “Just as smartphone apps took over from the web as the way most of us use the internet, hearables promise to take over from screens, bringing relevant information directly to our ears. Want to know what the weather is like in Rome, the contents of your inbox, or how long it will be until your next train arrives? Just wonder aloud, and Siri will whisper the answer discreetly into your ear.”

Another possible augmented reality product may be smart contact lenses.

Strap yourself in, Augmented reality is set to change the world, don’t miss the kick-off.