Tim Cook says AR is the “next big thing” at awards event in Ireland

Apple’s CEO Tim Cook has hinted at future plans for the company after stating that augmented reality (AR) is the “next big thing” at an awards event in Ireland.

Cook has spoken about the vast potential of AR in the past and he said during a speech that the cutting-edge tech will “pervade our entire lives” and pave the way for new, exciting experiences for consumers.

Cook ventured to the Emerald Isle on Monday to pick up an award that recognised Apple’s investment in the country during the last 40 years.

Apple currently employs more than 6,000 workers in Cork, making it the largest employer in the city.

The IDA Ireland event covers some of the most notable avenues of direct foreign investment, and Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar was present to personally hand over the ‘Special Recognition Award’ to Cook.

During his speech, the 59-year-old spoke about a trip he made to the headquarters of a small game development studio in Dublin.

Touching on the capabilities of AR, he noted: “You can imagine, for games it’s incredible but even for our discussion here. You and I might be talking about an article and using AR we can pull it up, and can both be looking at the same thing at the same time.”

While smartphones have often isolated people from the outside world, Cook expects AR to bring them back together by enhancing participation, discussion and human connection.

Cook is also excited about the ability of AR to transform healthcare.

He said that it could lower the costs of basic services dramatically during the next decade and that the broader adoption of disruptive tech could make people’s lives better in a number of different ways.

Cook has referenced the intersection between AR and healthcare before and teased that Apple is working on “things” that make him hopeful for the future.

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