Tim Cook Talks Apple AR Glasses for First Time

It hit me when I looked at the iPhone X running the augmented reality game Warhammer 40K Freeblade on its edge-to-edge screen. The lines between AR and reality are getting blurred in a way that's so seamless, it might not be long until that experience is right on our faces.

Apple Glass concept design. Credit: Tailosive Tech/YouTube

(Image credit: Apple Glass concept design. Credit: Tailosive Tech/YouTube)

But is Apple going to take the next step soon and deliver these sorts of experiences in a pair of glasses? Apple CEO sat down The Independent for an interview, and talked about the possibility of AR glasses for the first time.

As you might guess, Apple doesn't care about being first to market, but even if it wanted to be, Cook doesn't believe the technology is ready yet.

“But today I can tell you the technology itself doesn’t exist to do that in a quality way," said Cook. "The display technology required, as well as putting enough stuff around your face – there’s huge challenges with that.

However, Cook isn't writing off the possibility of AR glasses - not by a long shot. “Most technology challenges can be solved, but it’s a matter of how long,”

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With ARKit in iOS 11, Apple and developers are already bringing dozens of quality augmented reality apps to the masses, and they run not just on the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus, but also any iPhone with an A9 processor or newer.

So far, we've seen a handful of immersive games, but things will really start to get interesting when developers start looking beyond entertainment to communication, education and other categories. One great example of an AR app that would be killer on Apple AR glasses is Chalk. This app lets you give remote tech support to friends and family by being able to see and draw on their field of view.

It's also easy to imagine companies like Home Depot and others adopting this app for helping users with home improvement projects, or an IKEA rep walking you through putting together a piece of furniture.

As recently as July, possible Apple AR glasses were detailed in patents discovered by Patently Apple, which were related to Apple's acquisition of AR-based company Metaio in 2015.

Back in February, industry insider Robert Scoble claimed that Apple has forged a partnership with Carl Zeiss, a company that manufactures camera lenses and medical technology and makes the Zeiss VR One Plus headset. Around that time, Apple Insider unearthed two patents that hint at how Apple will implement its AR technology.

Mark Spoonauer

Mark Spoonauer is the global editor in chief of Tom's Guide and has covered technology for over 20 years. In addition to overseeing the direction of Tom's Guide, Mark specializes in covering all things mobile, having reviewed dozens of smartphones and other gadgets. He has spoken at key industry events and appears regularly on TV to discuss the latest trends, including Cheddar, Fox Business and other outlets. Mark was previously editor in chief of Laptop Mag, and his work has appeared in Wired, Popular Science and Inc. Follow him on Twitter at @mspoonauer.