Scott Stein, Apple’s head of augmented and virtual reality, talks about AR’s future in an interview with CNET. He says, “AR has an enormous potential” provided its implementation is successful.
AR has enormous potential to be helpful to folks in their lives across devices that exist today, and devices that may exist tomorrow, but we’ve got to make sure that it is successful,” Rockwell told Stein. “For us, the best way to do that is to enable our device ecosystem, so that it is a healthy and profitable place for people to invest their time and effort.
Apple is yet to announce a mixed-reality headset or an AR headset. However, the company is already working on the same. In the meantime, iPhones and iPad offer a bevy of features based on augmented reality. Furthermore, third-party apps like Ikea and Pokemon are making use of augmented reality to better their offerings.
The new LiDAR sensor on iPhones and iPads offers a range of new 3D-scanning possibilities. According to Mike Rockwell, Apple’s AR head said the company is working on making AR features better. Part of their efforts includes “layering AR with real-world locations and popping up experiences automatically.” He also claims that AR apps will take over traditional apps shortly.
Apple says the AR ecosystem already has 10,000 AR-enabled iOS apps, and most of them cater to home improvement and practical uses for AR. The company is also adding new Safari feature that allows users to shop via AR pop-ups.
Augmented Reality as a Creative Tool
Virtual Reality is also shaping up as a creative tool, and market adoption is slowly picking up. For instance, Snapchat is working on using LiDAR sensors to introduce virtual elements in the real world. However, AR-creation tools come with a steep learning curve. Moreover, the apps are not intuitive.
Augmented reality as an Accessibility tool
Augmented Reality is beneficial when it comes to accessibility apps and features. Currently, Apple is already using AirPods for hearing Aids, and in the future, it could develop tools for vision-impaired. iOS 14.2 offers a people detection feature that uses LiDAR to detect people at a distance.