Apple Believed to Be Contemplating the Use of AR Features with the next iPhone

Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman in a new report Monday offered a deeper insight into Apple’s next big thing—the company’s secretive efforts related to augmented reality (AR) technologies which reportedly include an iPhone-connected digital spectacles that the news organization previously said would launch in 2018.

Citing people with knowledge of Apple’s plans, the report states that the company’s built a team combining the strengths of its hardware and software veterans with the expertise of talented outsiders. The group is allegedly being run by former Dolby Laboratories executive Mike Rockwell and includes engineers who worked on Facebook’s Oculus and Microsoft’s HoloLens virtual reality headsets “as well as digital-effects wizards from Hollywood.”

As for the features that are said to be in development, the one that caught our attention is the mention of Snapchat like filters that would allow users to place different objects and items on an image. Other rumored features include the ability to change the depth of the objects in a particular image, and allow specific items in the photos to be tilted 180 degrees. All of this could be leveraged using the dual-camera setup of the iPhone 7 Plus, so we wouldn’t be surprised if Apple sends this in the form of an update with iOS 11.

However, we’re mindful of the fact that some of these features could be hardware dependent, meaning that we will see the bigger AR based features only with the new iPhone. Older reports have already mentioned that the iPhone 8 would have a groundbreaking camera, which is well in line with this particular revelation.

Apple’s AR team includes the following experts:
  • Mike Rockwell—Charged with leading Apple’s AR group. Rockwell previously ran Dolby’s hardware and new technologies groups and advised Meta, a small firm that makes $950 AR glasses and counts Dolby as an investor. He reports to Dan Riccio, who’s in charge of the iPhone and iPad hardware engineering groups.
  • Fletcher Rothkopf—Helped lead the team that designed Apple Watch.
  • Tomlinson Holman—Created THX audio popularized by LucasFilm.
  • Cody White—He led Amazon’s Lumberyard virtual reality platform.
  • Duncan McRoberts—Meta’s former director of software development.
  • Yury Petrov—Former Oculus researcher.
  • Avi Bar-Zeev—Worked on Microsoft’s HoloLens and the Google Earth app.
  • Other experts in everything from 3D video production to wearable hardware.
  • iPhone, camera and optical lens engineers.
  • People with experience in sourcing the raw materials for the glasses.
Apple’s boss Tim Cook opined that at some point, we will all “have AR experiences every day, almost like eating three meals a day. It will become that much a part of you.“

Source: Bloomberg


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