Tim Cook says Apple wants to use AI to boost iPhone battery life

iPhone 7 battery

Apple’s boss Tim Cook traveled around Japan on a bullet train last week as part of his whirlwind tour of the country, his first visit since becoming CEO.

Speaking to Nikkei Asian Review, Cook expressed hope that Apple Pay will help realize a cashless society and hinted that the company’s new research and development center in Yokohama, near Tokyo, would be “very different” from its Chinese R&D center as it would explore “deep engineering”.

He then said that Apple wants to use artificial intelligence to turbo charge the iPhone battery life.

Artificial intelligence (AI), said Cook, can be used “in ways that most people don’t even think about,” including making the iPhone last longer in between charges

“We want the AI to increase your battery life and recommend music to Apple Music subscribers,” he continued. AI is “horizontal in nature, running across all products” and is used “in ways that most people don’t even think about,” said the CEO.

“I think there is an incredible future ahead,” he said of AI.

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Cook mentioned that AI could also “help you remember where you parked your car”.

iOS 10 already includes this feature in the Maps application, which automatically saves your car’s location as soon as the device has disconnected from CarPlay or in-car Bluetooth. The Yokohama facility, currently scheduled for completion in December, will focus on AI and similar technologies.

Cook described it as a center for “deep engineering” and said it will be “very different” from the R&D base Apple plans to build in China.

“I cannot tell you the specifics,” he said. “The specific work is very different.” The R&D center is the first of its kind outside the U.S., said Cook.

Apple also teamed up with IBM and Japan Post Holdings to offer health care services for the elderly, centered on the iPad. Given Japan’s rapidly aging population, Cook said the country “is in the best position to lead” the way on such technology.

Cook also used Apple Pay to ride Japan’s famous Yamanote transit line.

Thanks to FeliCa-compatible NFC chips inside the iPhone 7 and Apple Watch Series 2 models sold in Japan, Apple Pay will be gaining support for Japanese railway JR East through its dedicated Suica payment system later this month.

“Japan is important to us. FeliCa was born in Japan. So by extension, FeliCa is important,” Cook explained, saying Apple Pay was designed to promote a cashless society. “We would like to be a catalyst for taking cash out of the system,” he said.

“We don’t think the consumer particularly likes cash.”

As part of his itinerary, Cook also met Nintendo’s legendary games designer Shigeru Miyamoto as well as Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

Cook wrapped up his tour with a “Thank you, Japan” tweet in Japanese.

Source: Nikkei Asian Review