Last year, Apple's Tim Cook hinted in an interview that "augmented reality will happen in a big way" and that the company has plans for it. Earlier this year, it was also reported that Apple and Zeiss - the optics manufacturer - are working together on AR. Now, after nearly two months, purported details about these plans have emerged.
Citing a UBS report, Business Insider has noted that Apple has dedicated around 1,000 engineers to work on a project in Israel, which is possibly related to augmented reality. The report also speculates that the Cupertino giant can implement AR in its upcoming iPhone, which is expected later this year. The feature could also include "3D mapping" and an AR software development kit.
Plans for 3D mapping falls in line with a recent report by a KGI securities analyst who claimed that the next iPhone may revamp the front-facing camera with an advanced module, capable of detecting 3D space with the help of an infrared sensor. This may allow users to take 3D selfies, and also enhance facial recognition, iris scanning, and more.
Analyst Steven Milunovich has also expressed his view on Apple's interest in AR rather than VR, saying that the former "connects people" whereas the latter isolates them. He says that Apple can easily incorporate AR in its existing devices, eradicating the need to start a new device lineup while also keep the current users up-to-date with the latest technology.
The 10th-anniversary edition iPhone 8 is rumored to sport many new features including a curved AMOLED screen and USB Type-C, and while support for AR might be one of them, it is still important to take this piece of news with a grain of salt.