UBS: The next Apple iPhone could have AR features
Apple has teased about introducing augmented reality features to its future products on more than one occasion, but until recently, we didn't know how or when exactly will this happen. Recent rumors have indicated that Cupertino will release a dedicated set of AR glasses for this endeavor, but UBS analyst Steven Milunovich argues that we will first see a more practical approach from Tim Cook & Co.
In a research note that was picked up by Business Insider, Milunovich cites multiple industry sources which state that Apple “may have over 1,000 engineers working on a project in Israel that could be related to AR”. Needless to say, any information that comes from anonymous “industry sources” should be taken with a grain of salt, but these claims fall in line with Apple's recent acquisitions.
The UBS analyst also explains that Cupertino chose to focus on augmented rather than virtual reality because the former offers a more social experience to users, while the latter requires a dedicated headset which often isolates people and renders them blind to the real world.
The fact that AR often simply needs a device's camera to work is also another major advantage for Apple. Rather than spending big money on developing and marketing a new product, the company can just come up with a piece of software or improve the camera sensor future devices to achieve great results. As such, Milunovich believes that this is exactly what Apple will opt to do, and he expects new AR products from Apple to be featured as early as in the next iPhone. These could include 3D mapping tools and “possibly an AR software development kit”.
source: Business Insider via Neowin