During Apple’s first quarter 2016 earnings call today, Apple CEO Tim Cook shared his thoughts on virtual reality.
When asked if the technology is a “geeky niche or something that can go mainstream” during a Q&A, Cook cautiously answered: “In terms of virtual reality, um, no, I don’t think it’s a niche. I think … it’s really cool and has some interesting applications.”
Cook’s commentary on virtual reality arrives as the technology approaches its first big consumer test in decades. Facebook’s Oculus Rift and the HTC Vive are expected to launch consumer-ready experiences this spring, while Sony’s PlayStation VR is said to launch sometime during the first half of this year.
Apple has shown interest in virtual reality before: As we wrote last week, the company hired Virginia Tech professor and virtual reality researcher Doug Bowman this month, acquired AR technology firm Metaio last May, and bought PrimeSense, the company behind Microsoft’s Kinect camera, in 2013.
Apple is certainly interested in virtual reality — that’s obvious. But is the company interested enough to develop its own headset? Cook, unfortunately, didn’t say.