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Apple's AR Plans

Apple's AR Plans Detailed in a New Report, Eventually Include Glasses

March 20, 2017

A new report from Bloomberg is shedding a new light on Apple AR plans, including a pair of augmented reality glasses.

The next big thing?

The next big thing?

Instead of virtual reality, which requires users to wear a bulky headset buy completely immerses them in a location, augmented reality is designed to display important information over images and videos of the real world. A great example of AR technology is seen in the hugely popular Pokémon Go app.

Apple has already snagged some big names for its AR initiatives:

Apple has built a team combining the strengths of its hardware and software veterans with the expertise of talented outsiders, say the people, who requested anonymity to discuss internal strategy. Run by a former Dolby Laboratories executive, the group includes engineers who worked on the Oculus and HoloLens virtual reality headsets sold by Facebook and Microsoft as well as digital-effects wizards from Hollywood. Apple has also acquired several small firms with knowledge of AR hardware, 3D gaming and virtual reality software.

AR glasses are eventually in the plans but currently a “ways off.” But the report did detail how augmented reality could be used in future iPhones, possibly starting with the “iPhone 8” expected to land this fall.

Hundreds of engineers are now devoted to the cause, including some on the iPhone camera team who are working on AR-related features for the iPhone, according to one of the people. One of the features Apple is exploring is the ability to take a picture and then change the depth of the photograph or the depth of specific objects in the picture later; another would isolate an object in the image, such as a person’s head, and allow it to be tilted 180 degrees. A different feature in development would use augmented reality to place virtual effects and objects on a person, much the way Snapchat works.

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