It’s no secret that Apple is serious about dipping its feet into the augmented reality (AR) space, and CEO Tim Cook made his intentions clear when he said, “We are high on AR in the long run. After the rumored Google-like augmented reality glasses, reports claim that Apple is also working on incorporating AR tech into future iPhone cameras. A patent filed by Apple also hints at an AR-based mapping system for iPhones. Also Read - PUBG New State receives over 17 million pre-registrations as closed alpha testing endsAlso Read - iPhone selling in LG stores? Apple is apparently in talks for a new deal
Citing sources, Business Insider claims that Apple is working on giving the cameras on future iPhones AR capabilities. One of the uses could be the ability to point the camera at a real-life object and get all the information on it. Another use could be the ability to recognize people’s faces in real-time, and the functionality could be something similar to the facial recognition technology added to the Photos app on iOS. The report adds that the team behind Metaio and Flyby Media, two startups acquired by Apple, are currently working as a part of Apple’s camera group. Once the AR features are added to the iPhone’s camera app, eventually the tech would be shared as an SDK with app developers. Also Read - Apple CEO Tim Cook claims iOS is more secure than Android
Apart from the camera app, Apple could also be working on adding AR technology to its mapping app, Apple Insider reports. A patent titled “Augmented reality maps” filed by the company hints at an app that taps into the various sensors onboard an iPhone to add virtual objects to a user’s surroundings in real-time. One of the scenarios could include an iPhone user activating the rear camera through the AR map app, and then see information such as building names, signposts or landmarks superimposed on the real-time view. The app is also expected to use the various sensors to pinpoint the iPhone’s location, alignment and tilt. Depending on the device’s orientation, the app could also be capable of switching display modes from live video to a bird’s-eye view.
A recent report also claimed that Apple is working on a Google Glass-like wearable with AR capabilities. These glasses would connect to iPhones, and show images and other information in the wearer s field of vision. These glasses though are expected to be introduced sometime in 2018 at the earliest, and are widely expected to solve one of the biggest issues with Google Glass, and look fashionable.
These implementations do hint at an interesting future, and it is little wonder that Apple is pretty excited about the space. While many companies are working on virtual reality, it is clear that Cook prefers AR. There s no substitute for human contact. And so you want the technology to encourage that. We are high on AR for the long run. I think AR can be huge, he was quoted as saying.
Unlike VR, where specialized hardware is needed to experience content; with the use of AR, information is superimposed over real-time surroundings. This can be best understood with the example of Pok mon GO the hugely popular AR-based game that used real surroundings to help players catch virtual characters. With VR, the experience is restricted to the headset or headgear that a user wears and the content streamed on the device is either motion controlled or by using external controllers.