Apple CEO Tim Cook’s unannounced European tour has taken him to the United Kingdom, Germany and Italy so far. And on one of his latest stops, he received an honorary master’s degree Thursday from the Università Degli Studi di Napoli Federico II in Naples, Italy.
“It’s an honor to be recognized by an institution with such a distinguished history, one that has nurtured Italy’s brightest young minds for nearly 800 years,” Cook said, accepting the honorary master’s degree for innovation and international management.
Tim Cooks receives honorary master’s degree in Naples
The degree acceptance tied in nicely with a Q&A session Cook engaged in with students. During the talk, he cited artificial intelligence and augmented reality as exciting areas of development for Apple, and for technology in general.
A student’s question about which technologies excite him most led Cook to respond that AI is “a fundamental, horizontal technology that will touch everything in our lives.” He mentioned Apple Watch and other products that will rely on AI.
Then he said he was “super-excited about augmented reality” as something that could become as important as the internet in people’s everyday lives:
“I think … this will happen clearly not too long from now, if you look back at a point in time — you know, zoom out to the future and look back — you’ll wonder how you led your life without augmented reality. Just like today, you wonder, ‘How did people like me grow up without the internet?’ And so I think it could be that profound, and it’s not going to be profound overnight.”
That part of the video cuts off at that point.
Apple is, of course, working on AR/VR headsets. Rumors point to a high-end version aimed at developers and a more affordable version aimed at a broader commercial market.
Cook’s tour of England
Prior to Italy, Cook barnstormed through the U.K. and Germany. (You can keep track of Cook’s ongoing travels via his Twitter account.)
In London, Cook visited the new Brompton Road Apple Store as well as the Covent Garden and Regent Street locations. He also took in the Southbank Centre creative complex, which said it will join Apple’s Racial Equity and Justice Initiative to empower minority creatives.
Another stop was the Battersea Power Station office complex, slated to become home to several scattered Apple offices in the London area when work is done in early 2023. If “Battersea Power Station” rings a bell but you can’t picture it, just recall Pink Floyd’s Animals album cover (and count on the Apple offices looking at least a little less ominous).
Cook also spent some time with cast and crew members of the hit comedy Ted Lasso on Apple TV+. A group posed for a photo meant to look like they’re all cheering on the show’s fictional AFC Richmond soccer club.
Folks with Cook in the pic include Jason Sudeikis (who plays Ted Lasso), Juno Temple (Keeley), Hannah Waddingham (Rebecca), Brendan Hunt (Coach Beard), and Jeremy Swift (Higgins).
A few other Apple executives joined the AFC Richmond visit, according to 9to5Mac: Eddy Cue (SVP of services), Lisa Jackson (VP of environment, policy and social initiatives), Deirdre O’Brien (SVP of retail and people) and Kristin Huguet Quayle (VP of worldwide communications).
Cook in Germany
After leaving the U.K., Cook visited Germany. There his stops included the Apple Rosenthaler Straße retail store in Berlin, after which Cook and Cue hit Oktoberfest in Munich.
That involved large festbiers and traditional German garb, of course, like Cue’s lederhosen and tunics all around.
But there was more to the Munich stop than festing. Cook and Jony Srouji, Apple’s SVP of hardware technologies, went to an Apple-affiliated lab where “engineers conduct some of the cellular testing done to ensure we’re optimizing for performance and connectivity,” 9to5Mac said.
Cook also met with Munich photographer Jannik Obenhoff and viewed some of his work produced with iPhone 14 Pro Max.