We’ve already considered a huge amount of rumors regarding the potential design of the iPhone 8 but one thing that still remains vague is iOS 11 and the features it may include. The latest leak suggests that Apple have 1,00o engineers working on elements of Augmented Reality to be used in the next iPhone.
This news comes from USB Analyst Steve Milunovich who said, “Our work suggests that AR could be the next major innovation from Apple and that its competencies could make the company a winner … Augmented reality is an area where Apple could leapfrog competition in providing a superior user experience. This could result in sustained iPhone retention rates and more switchers.” Let’s not forget that Apple have, in recent months, purchased a number of companies that deal with AR including PrimeSense, Metaio and most recently, RealFace. (You can read more about this in last week’s issue of Apple Magazine)
This isn’t the first time that rumors have flown regarding Apple’s AR potential. Tim Cook, CEO and huge fan of Augmented Reality, hinted at the potential of the inclusion of the technology in the next smartphone release, with his belief that “With AR you can, not be engrossed in something, but have it be a part of your world, of your conversation. That has resonance.” Cook believes AR is a core technology and suggested it could be applied not only to iPhones but Apple’s tablets, Macs and TVs. There’s also been talk of a partnership between Apple and other tech giants such as the German optics company Carl Zeiss to develop AR glasses but there is still very little go on in regards to this.
Milunovich believes that Apple are working on AR-enabled hardware such as sensors, 3D cameras and custom chipsets for both the iPhone and iPad, speculating that the new iPhone may use Simultaneous Localization and Mapping that will allow devices to map out a space without any previous knowledge of the area by becoming aware of its position in the context of the environment and creating a 3D map accordingly. He said that this would fit in with Apple’s ecosystem growth and that it “reaches a level of maturity suitable for [their] brand.” Plus, that the most likely direction for the company to go will be to establish an augmented reality SDK that integrates perfectly with iOS.