The next big thing for Apple is AR and and it could show up first in the iPhone
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:
- Fletcher Rothkopf, who led the team in designing the Apple Watch
- Tomlinson Holman, the creator of THX audio standard
- Cody White, the former lead engineer of Amazon's Lumberyard VR platform
- Duncan McRoberts, Meta's former director of software development
- Yury Petrov, a former Oculus researcher
- Avi Bar-Zeev, who worked on the HoloLens and Google Earth
- iPhone, camera and optical lens engineers
- other engineers who worked on the Oculus and HoloLens VR headset
- animation experts from the movie industry
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.