Apple’s iPhone 8 Will Take AR Mainstream
Apple is ready to unveil one of the most awaited iPhone; the iPhone 8, which is one that millions of people around the world are waiting for. Furthermore, it is also the tenth-anniversary iPhone of the company.
Later on in this year, the company is also set to fully introduce augmented reality, or AR, that will part of the upcoming iOS 11. This new and innovative technology would change the way we use our smartphones.
Many believe that the technology is ideally positioned for the company to take advantage of. With such a new concept, Apple can easily leapfrog other rivals such as Google and Facebook when it comes to what can be achieved through AR and how it can change social interaction and much more.
Understanding augmented reality
Analysts have started putting out research notes and exploring all the possibilities that Apple has for augmented reality.
Augmented reality, in very basic terms, is the middle ground between actual reality, around us, and virtual reality. AR overlays the virtual objects in the real environment around the user either through a headset or a screen.
You may use AR to play one of the platforming games right on your desk, or you might be able to envision how a new chair, cupboard, or sofa will look when it is actually placed in the room so that you may choose whether you want to purchase it or not.
Towards the end of this year, it is expected that Apple will publicly release the iPhone 8. This iPhone 8 is the much anticipated tenth-anniversary edition phone of its high-end smartphones. The upcoming iPhone is rumored to have a better camera, a screen which extends almost edge to edge, and it will no longer have the signature physical home button.
There are other rumored developments as well; however, the company has denied, nor confirmed any rumors.
Why Apple has advantages over others in AR
The AR tool that Apple is all ready to release with the upcoming iOS 11 is called the ARKit. The ARKit will be available in fall when the operating system is released to all devices.
This set of tools will allow the developers to make augmented reality applications and games for iPhones, iPods, iPads. Apart from being available in iPhone 8, the ARKit will also be available on iPhones and iPads that were released before this year.
The iPhone 8 is expected to have a 3D selfie camera that has the capability of sensing depth. This camera is not only for unlocking purposes through facial recognition but is also for augmented reality.
Since the beginning, Apple has been known to develop its hardware products in-house. Moreover, the company is also known for making hardware and software fit together smoothly and seamlessly which is quite essential for advanced technology such as augmented reality.
In comparison, Google largely relies on the OEM hardware partners for building Android phones in the way they prefer and see fit.
Apart from that, a majority of people already using iPhones will be able to upgrade their devices to the upcoming operating system. Consequently, they will be able to use the AR functionality although they might not have dedicated 3D sensors to get the entire experience.
In fact, the ARKit might just be the reason why people shift from their older iPhones to the upcoming iOS 8! Older iPhones would have an AR interaction with basic features so; people might be tempted to upgrade to get a more immersive experience.
Google has also been working on AR technology since 2014, which is known as Project Tango; however, it is only available on a few Android handsets that have the supporting hardware.
Practical uses of AR tech
There have been a few suggested uses of augmented reality for iPhone 8 users.
Users can expect the phone to function as a transparent piece of glass when they look through the camera. At social events like concerts or parties, there would be endless possibilities to connect with the people around them, further enhancing the experience. The games would become more immersive and more engaging.
In fact, it might even be used in applications used for identifying the bug or disease attacking your plant. Similarly, it could help save lives during emergencies by finding the nearest exits.
It could also help measure the room’s dimensions when users renovate their house.
What does all of this mean for Apple?
For Apple, it is believed, that augmented reality is a niche in which the company can leapfrog their competition because of the excellent user experience it will provide. This could also lead to more people switching to Apple and sustenance in the rate of iPhone retention.
It would also change the way people interact and use their smartphones which is a development that has been absent from the smartphone industry for quite some time now. Your phone, instead of acting as a block between the real world and you, will enrich and augment your world.
Of course, people predict that the iPhone 8 will come with a few applications and investments when it is released, however, users can only get the complete AR experience when there is a device with a dedicated 3D sensor in the main camera.
The upcoming iPhone 8 has a slanted shape to accommodate for the dual lens camera; however, there isn’t a dedicated 3D sensor. The camera can only enable 3D mapping features by using stereoscopic vision.
In the coming years, phones would no longer be used for AR. Instead, people would be using a head-mounted augmented reality computer.
Experts suggest that the company might already be thinking even beyond the iPhone for augmented reality. In a few years, Apple might just introduce additional hardware. There have also been reports suggesting that the company has already started working on AR glasses.
Other companies have also started working on AR; Facebook has been talking about the potential that the format has. Meanwhile, Microsoft is also working on an augmented reality headset called the HoloLens.
However, there is no denying that Apple, using the iPhone 8, will be the first company that actually brings AR to the mainstream!