What Can AR and VR do for Apple?

Treading the road less traveled by has been Apple’s style. But when it comes to AR and VR has the brand remained a step behind the others? With Apple, there is no “Beta”. We don’t get to know much about any new development that is still work-in-progress. Unless it is perfected we do not hear much. This is what is happening with AR/VR technology as well. Silently the brand has been doing a lot of preparation to gear up for the next big thing in the artificial reality segment.

From the WWDC 2017:

While we were wondering why Apple is late to the party while the whole tech world is going crazy over the explosion of AR and VR, Apple made the big announcement at the WWDC 2017. Apple is all set to introduce AR apps “that can change the world” with the ARKit to be included with iOS 11. This would allow developers to build AR apps that enhance user experience a great deal. AR has been Cook’s favorite though there are other players focusing more on VR. And as this blends the artificial reality elements with natural environment, Apple’s ARKit would help create apps that would take human machine interaction to an all new level. Immersive technology that we have only seen in the movies would soon become real with AR apps supported by ARKit.

VR for the desktops:

While Apple has been choosing AR for the mobile devices we have seen advancements in VR for the desktops. Metal 2 for macOS High Sierra would be supporting VR. Apple, in collaboration with Unity, Unreal and Valve would be delivering tools that help create VR applications for Mac.

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Acquisitions, hires, and all the tiny-big steps towards the next leap:

To make things bigger, silently the company has been acquiring a lot of AR and VR related startups. We have also heard about how the company has recently hired a lot of new people proficient in these technologies. Some of the major acquisitions of Apple that are part of its AR plans are

  • SensoMotoric, the German firm specializing in eye-tracking technology
  • Flyby Media- AR and computer vision
  • Emotient- AI and facial recognition
  • Metaio- AR startup
  • Faceshift

There are many more that we do not officially have information about. And talking about the major hires to support AR developments, Doug Bowman from the Center for Human-Computer Interaction team of Virginia Tech, employees from HoloLens team are some of the popular among the others.

There are numerous developers who have given us a preview about what we can expect from Apple’s AR integration with the developer version of iOS 11 that was rolled out recently.

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The investors are Happy:

Since Tim Cook took charge, we have not seen many major announcements from Apple. This has kept investors in a dilemma for quite long. To the not so happy investors of Apple this major step towards AR comes as a welcome news. Also we have heard that the company is investing big in terms of capital and resources to make a lot of new implementations to make AR more user-friendly and practical. Though it would be joining late in the race, we can expect Apple’s technologies to revolutionize the market. The preview of AR with the single iPhone camera itself impressed several market experts. The iPhone 7 comes with a dual camera that can feed in more accurate data and thus create an even better output. And the iPhone 8 is anticipated to be launched with some hardware changes to better support the technology. This would give users an immersive AR experience.

Facebook’s Oculus Rift, Microsoft’s HoloLens, Google Glass and others would soon be facing a stiff competition. Most of these have the downside that you would need special hardware to use them. AR makes it possible to sink into the synthesized reality environment without the need for any special hardware. You would be able to use them with your smartphone alone.

So can we see new gizmos from Apple incorporating AR and VR? Definitely, but not just yet. It would take some time but we know for sure that there is a lot happening and a lot of exciting stuff in store for us.

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