How Apple might deliver Augmented Reality on the iPhone

“Last year, a large consumer audience was introduced to AR via Pokemon Go, which allows for characters to be superimposed on real life settings as part of the game,” Tim Bajarin writes for Tech.pinions. “This game gave consumers a small taste of what AR is about and has left them wanting more of this technology on their smartphones.”

“Tim Cook has repeatedly stated Apple sees AR as the more interesting product at the moment and, while not discounting VR, he seems to suggest that, if Apple does get into this new area of VR and AR, AR will be the technology they will drive first to their platforms,” Bajarin writes. “If Apple decides to bring AR to iPhones soon, I believe Apple’s initial move into AR will be at the platform level and delivered on some next generation iPhones.”

“By creating an iPhone that supports a special AR SDK, Apple could be well positioned to expand the idea of AR-based apps and features to millions of users almost overnight,” Bajarin writes. “If Apple does deliver an iPhone optimized for AR, this could start a new super cycle for iPhone replacement and drive huge numbers of iPhone sales for another three years.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: AR is coming to Apple’s products.

As you can see in the clue-laden list of articles below, Apple’s interest in augmented reality is very strong.

Apple CEO Cook sparks predictions of augmented reality in iPhone 8 – February 27, 2017
Apple CEO Cook offers clues to Apple’s Augmented Reality strategy – February 14, 2017
Apple CEO Cook on Augmented Reality: ‘I regard it as a big idea like the smartphone’ – February 10, 2017
Apple working to integrate Augmented Reality capabilities into iPhone’s Camera app – November 17, 2016
Apple granted another Augmented Reality head-mounted display patent – November 10, 2016
Ming-Chi Kuo: Apple will have a 3-5 year lead in augmented reality; use as part of an autonomous driving system – November 2, 2016
Apple CEO Tim Cook: ‘We are high on Augmented Reality for the long run’ – October 14, 2016
iPhone 7 Plus is the starting point of Apple’s major push into augmented reality – September 28, 2016
iPhone 7 Plus proves Apple is gearing up for augmented reality – September 27, 2016
What iPhone 7 says about Apple’s future augmented reality plans – September 19, 2016
Apple needs to forget chasing Snapchat and go after the Augmented Reality industry – August 25, 2016
Tim Cook publicly confirms Apple has augmented reality plans – July 27, 2016
Apple acquires Flyby Media; assembles large team of virtual and augmented reality experts – January 29, 2016
Apple hires leading virtual reality researcher – January 22, 2016
Apple is building a virtual reality supply chain with disruptive potential, new research shows – November 19, 2015
Analyst: Apple team exploring virtual reality/augmented reality – August 31, 2015
Apple exploring a new reality with purchase of Metaio – June 3, 2015
Apple patents perforated augmented reality display that you can see and hear through – May 29, 2015
Apple acquires augmented reality company Metaio – May 28, 2015
New Apple haptics patent application reveals diamond-layered trackpad that simulates wood, other textures – April 23, 2015
Apple granted U.S. patent for hybrid VR head-mounted display – February 18, 2015
Apple is working on VR user interfaces and gaming; looking for Oculus and Leap experts – February 10, 2015
Apple granted patent for display-based speakers for iOS devices – January 13, 2015
Apple granted a patent for devices with a transparent display – November 18, 2014
Apple’s new iPhones, iPads could feature haptic displays – June 30, 2014
Apple patent application reveals personal display headset invention – May 8, 2014
Apple patent application reveals wildly intelligent multi-tiered haptics system – May 3, 2012
Apple continues to tweak Apple TV video headset accessory – April 10, 2014
Apple patent application reveals sapphire flexible transparent display devices created with Liquidmetal – December 19, 2013
Apple granted knockout patent for head-mounted personal display – December 10, 2013
iGlasses: Apple granted patent for head-mounted augmented reality displays – July 5, 2012
Apple files patent application for haptic feedback touch-based user interface – March 22, 2012


    1. Before Apple’s earnings call there were a number of people betting either Amazon or Alphabet would easily beat Apple to the $1T market cap. Apple was considered an also-ran and pretty much doomed.

      Jeff Bezos is said to be a genius who never makes mistakes and Alphabet is the king of moonshot projects that will change the world. Apple, the one-trick pony company, only had the iPhone which was considered a boring and fading product. A couple of weeks has passed since earnings and suddenly Apple is now seen as a completely new company heading for the stars. Go figure these knuckleheads.

      I believe mobile AR will be useful to more people as it won’t require those ridiculously bulky VR goggles. Most people couldn’t tolerate wearing 3D glasses so I’d say it’s likely VR goggles will be met with even more distaste. The iPhone alone will be able to use AR and the A-series processor will easily handle it. VR requires a lot of processing power and will probably tax most smartphones to their limits. I consider Apple wise to tackle something most consumers will get use out of in the near-term. AR is not as dazzling as VR but it’s readily doable using even the current iPhone and most of Apple’s current iPads. That’s a broad entry base.

      1. iPhone will hardly be the only AR phone when it is eventually released. Two AR phones are already in Android’s camp, the first has been out for a few months and the 2nd to be released 2Q17.

        1. Judging by checklist is not a useful way to compare complex things. “Has AR” doesn’t mean very much. But we humans are lazy and so like to compare in ways that are easier, even when they’re inaccurate. Judging the quality of an implementation is hard. It also doesn’t fit the scorecard model of lazy tech articles, so they tend not to do it.

          1. True, but as long as Apple has no shipping product that implements their version of what they think is AR, the world will have to experience what the competitors offer. Google is quite a bit ahead in the field as everyone is familiar with Pokemon Go by Niantic a successful Project X spin-off by Google.

    1. AR is definitely less GPU intensive due to not having to render everything you see but does require more specialized cameras to allow proper depth calculations.

  1. My mom and I were having lunch today and she asked me why she needs an AR device. Looking outside into the strip mall parking lot I said, “Do you see that car? That’s a cool car. I wonder what type of car that is? AR will see that car and tell you the make, model and year it was released. Do you see that restaurant? It would be nice to quickly point a device at that restaurant and see a full menu.”

    The above examples are just a small subset of what AR can do, but they outline how AR will help make queries more efficient. “Siri, what type of mushroom is this? Is it safe to eat?”

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