Is Apple Making An Augmented Reality Product?

Is Apple Making An Augmented Reality Product?
September 14, 2016

That’s the question Apple enthusiasts are asking themselves after Apple Inc. CEO Tim Cook said that augmented reality is “larger” as compared to virtual reality. According to him, AR “gives the capability” to be “very present.” “Maybe it’s something we’re talking about, maybe it’s someone else here who’s not here present but who can be made to appear to be present,” he explained to ABC news presenter Robin Roberts, adding that there were a lot of “really cool things” here. He said VR’s enclosed and immersive experience can be “really cool” but has “lower commercial interest over time.”
Apple has already made forays into augmented reality with the blockbuster gaming app, Pokemon Go, which imposes characters from the game onto a player’s surroundings. For his part, Cook has dropped broad hints about Apple’s interest in the AR/VR space in the last year. During the company’s earnings call in July, he said Apple was “high on AR.” He reiterated that message in an interview with the Washington Post in August and said the company was doing “a lot of things on (AR) behind the curtain.” In January, Apple also acquired Flyby Media, an AR company. As a result of the acquisition, it was granted a patent for a 3D navigation system in August.
Augmented reality was first introduced into the mainstream markets by Alphabet Inc. company Google with Google Glass, a head device that enabled users to remain connected even as they went about their daily tasks. However, it failed to take off with consumers and is now being used for research. The Mountain View company is expected to take another stab at the consumer market with its secretive startup, Magic Leap’s applications. Microsoft Inc. has also jumped into the fray with Hololens, an AR device that it introduced last year.
According to research firm Digi-Capital, the market for AR/VR will be worth $120 billion in revenues by 2020. AR will reach $90 billion in revenues by 2020. “AR now appears largely focused on enterprise users this year, with most consumer AR expected to launch around 2017 (although wild cards like Magic Leap could change that),” the firm wrote earlier this year.

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