italian leg of euro tour nets honorary innovation degree for tim cook

Tim Cook speaks with university students in Naples, Italy, after accepting an honorary Master's degree. Photo: Federico II online canale 1

Tim Cook’s unannounced European tour has taken him to the U.K, 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 Masters degree and talks AI and AR in Italy on far-ranging European tour

The degree acceptance tied in nicely with a Q & A session Cook had with students where he cited artificial intelligence (AI) and artificial reality (AR) 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 horizontal technology path will touch everything in our lives.” He mentioned Apple Watch and other products that will rely on it.

But then he said was “super-excited about augmented reality” as something that could become as important as the internet in people’s everyday lives:

I think that if you, and 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, we 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.

italian leg of euro tour nets honorary innovation degree for tim cook

It really looks like Tim Cook and the “Ted Lasso” cast are cheering on the fictional AFC Richmond soccer club.Photo: Apple

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 (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).

italian leg of euro tour nets honorary innovation degree for tim cook

Eddy Cue, left, and Tim Cook hoist a couple of cold ones at Oktoberfest in Munich, Germany.Photo: Apple

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 fest-biers 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.

And Cook met with local Munich photographer Jannik Obenhoff and viewed some of his work using the iPhone 14 Pro Max cameras.

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