It is likely that the AR or Augmented Reality could come to iPhones as early as this year with the iPhone 8.
According to reports from USB, Apple has more than a thousand engineers on an AR related project. A lot has been revealed regarding the design of the new iPhone 8. However, the biggest piece of the puzzle is the iOS 11, offering the top features of the iPhone. It seems that Apple could include the AR or augmented reality feature in the new iOS 11, so that it is in time for the next iPhone 8 to be released this year.
However, it is not very surprising, as Tim Cook has been raving about AR for some time now. AR offers a major jump in technology for Apple and Tim Cook has teased this feature in several interviews. Apple seems to prefer AR to VR.
However, if Apple does bring AR to the iPhone 8, it will be facing direct competition with smartphones like the Lenovo Phab 2 Pro or the Asus ZenFone AR, both of which are enabled with Google Tango. Apple will have to offer something superior with the iPhone 8 AR experience in order to get ahead in a race, where the above-mentioned phones already have a head start, according to UBS.
Evidence Supporting AR Claims
There seems to be plenty of evidenced supporting the claim that AR might find its way into the iPhone 8. For one, Apple has bought over many startups related to AR, namely PrimeSense and Metaio as well as RealFace. Secondly, the iPhone 7 Plus comes with a dual camera that is capable of understanding depth with the use of the parallax effect, which helps in superimposing an object. In addition, Apple has more than thousand engineers who are working on a project that is related to AR. Another pointer is that Tine Cook has mentioned his enthusiasm for AR many times, claiming that AR has a better potential when compared to virtual reality or VR.
No Official Confirmation
However, the musings of Tim Cook cannot be taken as official confirmation of Apple’s AR plans for the iPhone 8. According to Steven Milunovich, an analyst, Apple seems to have broken its silence regarding a future product in connection with AR, which seems to be rather uncharacteristic of the company.
There have also been several other rumors regarding the use of AR in the iPhone 8. It has been speculated that the AR could be built in the native app for the iOS camera. By putting the AR natively in the iOS camera application, it will enable the smartphone to recognize an object or a person, in a way that is similar to how the iOS 10 software recognizes a face.
Many other companies are also attempting to bring augmented reality to users, but the results are rather mixed. For instance, HoloLens of Microsoft is mainly aimed at developers and is quite expensive at around $3000. Magic Leap, an augmented reality startup is still struggling to fulfill promises. However, if Apple enters the AR world with the iPhone 8, it will surely be interesting to see what the company does to enhance the experience for users.