Apple continues to push AR into the mainstream

Jonny Evans writes for Computerworld that Apple has quietly introduced new AR features that should help the company push adoption of the technologies more into the mainstream, particularly for retailers, animation houses, and educators.

Apple's AR Quick Look
Apple’s AR Quick Look

Apple’s QuickLook supports 3D models that use the USDZ file format the company built in collaboration with Pixar. This works in the apps you use every day, including Safari, Messages, Mail, the Finder and more – so you don’t need an additional app to run AR experiences.

When you tap one of these 3D models, Apple’s ARKit renders it in as realistic way as possible, with lighting and shadows. You can move the object around, examine it from different angles and more.

What’s new is that Apple is now adding Apple Pay support to this feature, which means you can explore an item in virtual space and then, if you wish, pay for it.

MacDailyNews Take: Evans is right that this programmable button, which can do many other things besides being a purchase link, is an important part of the growing business case for AR and efforts like these from Apple can help propel AR into the mainstream. The more Apple gets people everywhere used to using AR on a daily basis, the more ready the world will be for Apple Glasses!


  1. This is key: “so you don’t need an additional app to run AR experiences.” I regard any app as an additional spy or tracking device which I resent so I never, ever, download an app; So many sites now urge a visitor to doenload one. I am more likely to vote Trump than download an app. That’s how much I mistrust them.

  2. AR will never be mainstream. It is just too much easier to look around with your own eyes and use your own brain. It’s a dead end, and I predict it will be abandoned by everyone in a few years, a la 3D TV.

    1. I’d like nothing better than to stroll around London with AR glasses detailing the history that saturates every street… or a museum or gallery… or, sometimes, even in nature with the glasses telling me what plants and animals I’m looking at with basic details about them… or just walking around a new city with glasses as a navigational HUD. Kind of like iPhones… computers in our pockets that nobody knew we wanted until Steve made them available.

  3. Also, make a screen that you can see in direct sunlight, as well as you can indoors, and people will think about adopting AR. Otherwise, it’s only viable in a cloudy, dark, indoor kind of day where AR currently works.

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