Apple chief Tim Cook has said the technology giant plans to invest in augmented reality technology following the success of Pokemon Go.
The mobile gaming phenomenon, which has broken download records around the world and gained more users than Tinder, uses augmented reality (AR) technology to create the illusion Pokemon characters on a phone screen are actually in front of players, waiting to be caught.
Speaking on a conference call with analysts after Apple’s financial results, Cook said Apple planned to do more work in that area.
“It also does show that AR can be really great. We have been and continue to invest a lot in this. We are high on AR for the long run, we think there’s great things for customers and a great commercial opportunity.
“The number one thing is to make sure our products work well with other developers’ kind of products like Pokemon, that’s why you see so many iPhones in the wild chasing Pokemons.”
But Cook was more guarded when asked if he thought the technology would be “the next platform”, something Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg has previously said of virtual reality.
“There’s a tendency to call everything the next platform,” Cook said.
“But regardless, it will be huge.”
However, Mark Brill, senior lecturer in digital communication and future media at Birmingham City University, said he felt the success of Pokemon Go was also more to do with the subject matter itself rather than the technology.
“I’m sure some will claim that it has introduced a whole generation to the joys of augmented reality, but I’m not convinced,” he said.
“The success of Pokemon is not the use of AR, but rather, the appeal of the game. It’s not down to the technology.
“What’s more, I think the current success will be short lived. We’re downloading apps faster – almost at an exponential rate – but the flip-side is that apps are reaching maturity and abandonment sooner. Is anyone still playing Angry Birds? By this time next year I doubt that we’ll be discussing Pokemon Go.”