Apple CEO Tim Cook Visits Shopify and Discusses AR and VR

One of the biggest names in technology made an unannounced visit to Toronto today.

Apple’s CEO Tim Cook popped up in a few haunts around Toronto today, marking his first visit to Canada’s largest city since taking the position over from founder Steve Jobs. Cook stopped by the Eaton Centre Apple Store and dropped in on some kids taking a coding class, using the visit as a reason to champion Apple’s focus on providing computer programming education to children.

Cook said it was important to “democratize coding” and teaching it in various schools is the best way to further normalize the field. In total, there are more than 120,000 Canadians working on applications for the iOS app store.

After a stop at the Apple Store Cook made his way to Quantum Coffee at King and Spadina, a modern café equipped with TouchBistro POS software—running on iPads of course. The tech narrative continues, as Quantum Coffee fronts the global headquarters of BrainStation; the Toronto founded school that teaches coding and software development among other digital skills.

From there he made his way to the main event of his visit–a demo and chat with Shopify executives including CEO Tobias Lütke. Together they demoed new variations of AR and VR that enable e-commerce to better represent objects in the home.

“The visit from Tim Cook was special in many ways,” said Satish Kanwar, VP of Product at Shopify.

“It gave us an opportunity to show how we’re pushing the boundaries of commerce by developing on new technology like ARKit. It’s important for us to experiment and test new and emerging technologies so we can provide our merchants with tools they can start leveraging for their own businesses.”

The new technologies Kanwar is referring to include Shopify’s AR shopping initiative with the Magnolia app, as shown below. The Shopify AR team worked with Magnolia to integrate the functionality into their app to capture the realism of placing objects within a home.

There is a lot of potential for AR to be integrated with Shopify stores or their flash sales app, Frenzy, which Lütke tagged in his picture with Cook.