The Trend

Apple CEO: “It’s Huge.”

By far, Apple is one of the biggest companies in the world.

All it has to do is make a simple mention of a potential idea that may or may not happen, and traders go wild with anticipation.

At least, that’s what just happened days ago.

All CEO Tim Cook did was make mere mention of augmented reality, and traders went wild with speculation it could be a feature in the new iPhone 8.  It’s part of the reason stocks like Himax Technologies (HIMX) soared from $4.94 to $6.05.

“I regard it as a big idea like the smartphone. The smartphone is for everyone, we don’t have to think the iPhone is about a certain demographic or country or vertical market: It’s for everyone,” Cook said. “I think AR is that big, it’s huge.”

He also made mention that AR is a core technology, much like the silicon in his phone, sparking speculation that Apple could introduce some sort of AR functionality in the September 2017 release of the iPhone 8. 

Better yet, Cook mentioned that he favors AR over virtual reality, explaining that AR can enhance what’s in a person’s world, as noted by Market Watch.  Virtual reality, on the other hand, closes out the world.

Again, it may be part of the reason related stocks –like HIMX– are beginning to take off.

For those not familiar with the technology, augmented reality can blur the line between what’s real and what’s computer-generated by enhancing what we hear, see, feel and even smell. Between virtual realities, which create immersive computer-generated environments, augmented reality can create near-real world reality with graphics, sounds, and even smell. It can literally change human perception of the surrounding space when a digitally augmented human interacts with a data sources, notes Network World. 

Look at Pokemon Go to see how excited folks are for the technology.

“Pokémon Go represents one of those moments when a new technology — in this case, augmented reality -- which fuses digital technology with the physical world — breaks through from a niche toy for early adopters to something much bigger. The idea behind the technology is to overlay digital imagery on a person’s view of the real world, using a smartphone screen or a headset,” notes The New York Times.

Research firm IDC believes a combined augmented and virtual reality market could grow by more than 180% in the next three years to nearly $162 billion from $5 billion this year. Consider what would happen if HIMX was exposed to just 5% of that market. We can assure you it’d be far from its current market cap of $988.6 million.

If you haven’t begun investing in AR, there’s still time.  Once we get a clearer picture of Apple’s involvement with it, the sector could explode.