Apple’s interest in AR is a well-established rumor at this point of time, with CEO Tim Cook even stating that he believes everyone will have augmented reality experiences on a daily basis, akin to eating 3 meals a day. Bloomberg now reports that the brand has put together a team to bring the tech to the masses and may even incorporate it into the iPhone 8.
Insiders with knowledge of Apple’s plans claim that Cook and his team see AR as the best way to dominate the next generation of devices and retain people within its ecosystem. One thing on its agenda are digital glasses which would be able to connect to an iPhone and showcase content like movies and maps directly to the user.
The challenge here is that current AR glasses are either lightweight but underpowered or powerful but massive. Apple will have to overcome this issue and further plan out games, apps, and media to make people actually want to buy the gadget. The firm may even have to develop an all-new OS and chipset to run the show.
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Apple’s team includes its own hardware and software personnel, engineers from Oculus and HoloLens, and Hollywood 3D animation veterans. It’s also acquired a number of smaller groups such as Metaio, FlyBy Media, and PrimeSense. The last is key to adding AR to iPhones, allowing people to place virtual objects on a person, similar to Snapchat.
There’s also talk of letting consumers isolate an object like a head in a photo and tilting it 180 degrees or adding depth to an image after it’s been shot. Apple may or may not release these features with its next iPhone. As for the AR glasses, sources say the device is much further down the road.