While the rest of the world is obsessed with virtual reality (VR), Apple is said to working hard on making augmented reality (AR) the next big thing. AR features could even appear in the next iPhone.
Sources told Bloomberg that Apple has gone to great lengths to develop AR products and integrate some of its features with its current products. The AR team, which is managed by former Dolby Laboratories executive Mike Rockwell, is brimming with talents from both the hardware and software departments. The multi-disciplinary team consists of:
Some of the AR features that Apple is working on include the ability to take a photo and then change the depth of the photo or certain subjects later, the ability to isolate an object in the photo and allow it to be rotated 180 degrees, and the ability to put virtual effects and objects on a person. Bloomberg also reiterated that Apple is developing digital glasses which can connect wirelessly to the iPhone and beam content. The rumored partner is said to be Carl Zeiss.
It remains to be seen whether Apple can successfully tackle the technical challenges of creating successful AR products. Existing AR products are underpowered and flimsy, or powerful and bulky. Battery life, content, a new interface, other new supporting hardware and price are other concerns that Apple need to address.