In a recent interview with CNET‘s Scott Stein, Apple’s head of augmented reality and virtual reality initiatives Mike Rockwell said AR has “enormous potential” across both “devices that exist today” and “devices that may exist tomorrow.”
“AR has enormous potential to be helpful to folks in their lives across devices that exist today, and devices that may exist tomorrow, but we’ve got to make sure that it is successful,” Rockwell told Stein. “For us, the best way to do that is to enable our device ecosystem, so that it is a healthy and profitable place for people to invest their time and effort.”
Apple is widely rumored to be developing both an AR/VR headset and glasses, but with neither product expected to be released until 2022 at the earliest, Apple continues to play up AR/VR technology in more vague terms. Apple and its CEO Tim Cook have repeatedly referred to AR as “big” and “profound” over the years.
“There’s a lot more we can do, especially related to our understanding of the environment that is around us,” Rockwell said. “We can recognize people, but if you think about what a human being can understand about an environment, there’s no reason that in the fullness of time a device can’t have that level of understanding, too, and provide that to developers.”
“We’ll be working together with the blind and partially sighted communities to improve specifically on the people-detection side,” added Allessandra McGinnis, Apple’s senior product manager for AR, referring to potential accessibility features.
The whole interview reads like yet another tease of the so-called “Apple Glasses”:
“A few years from now, it’ll be one of those things where you kind of can’t remember living without it, just like the internet,” said Rockwell, referring to AR. “You’re going to feel like, wow, I’m using this on a regular basis … it will become just integrated into our lives.”
In May, reputable analyst Ming-Chi Kuo predicted that “Apple Glasses” will launch in 2022 at the earliest and provide an “innovative” user experience.