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After a better-than-expected quarterly earnings call that shot Apple stock to an all-time high, Tim Cook stuck around to answer some questions. Uncharacteristically for such a secretive company, Cook declared a big interest in two budding technologies that could shape Apple’s future – and its users’.
This is one field we already know Apple is interested in, after its announcement of ARKit back at WWDC in June. We’ve seen some pretty impressive uses of the tech already, and it’s not even launched to the public yet.
Cook has doubled down on his belief in AR, saying that he “could not be more excited” for what’s to come. He says that as the smartphone becomes a part of more and more aspects of your life, it becomes an increasingly important tool – and Augmented Reality will make the iPhone “more essential than it already is.”
Though he’s kept quiet about specifics, this all adds fuel to the speculation that Apple is working on some kind of smart glasses as the next stage of an augmented future. It may be too early for such tech now, but once the world at large is more used to AR technology through their iPhones and iPads it could be a genuinely viable product with mass appeal.
This is a larger field, concerning everything from robotics to manufacturing to automobiles – but autonomy is something Cook called “the mother of all AI projects,” noting that Apple has a “large project” in the works that it’s pumping a lot of money into.
The real question here is, what kind of project is he talking about? It’s an open secret that Apple has a ton of staff working on an automotive project, so Cook could just be referring to driverless car software. Maybe they’re working on a way to automate more of the manufacturing process to make it easier to meet high product demand.
Or, just maybe, could there be a fully-fledged Siri robot in the works? (Spoiler: probably not.)