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Tim Cook acknowledges AR's importance in Apple's future

The CEO suggests the technology could "augment" conversation.

James Martin/CNET

Tim Cook on Monday hinted at Apple's vision for augmented reality tech, telling Sway's Kara Swisher that charts and other visual elements could enhance conversation. He wouldn't confirm reports that the company is working on a mixed reality headset, nor would he reveal plans for its June Worldwide Developers Conference, but he agreed with Swisher's suggestion that AR is "critically important" to Apple's future.

"When I think about that in different fields, whether it's health, whether it's education, whether it's gaming, whether it's retail, I'm already seeing AR take off in some of these areas with use of the phone," he said on the podcast. "And I think the promise is even greater in the future."

When asked about Tesla CEO Elon Musk saying Cook refused to take a meeting about the possibility of acquiring the electric car maker, the Apple boss noted that he'd "never spoken" to Musk but expressed "great admiration and respect" for him. Cook didn't rule out the possibility of the long-rumored Apple Car coming to fruition, noting that such a device's autonomy would be its "core technology."

"An autonomous car is a robot. And so there's lots of things you can do with autonomy," he told Swisher. "We investigate so many things internally. Many of them never see the light of day. I'm not saying that one will not."

The 60-year-old Cook, who's worked at Apple for 23 years, told Swisher he's unlikely to be at the company for another 10 years, but noted that it'd "hard to imagine" his life without it.

See also: Apple's VR, AR headset plans: The latest rumors and reports

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