Apple is perhaps looking to enter the augmented reality space with a team experimenting on technology that could be as revolutionary as smartphones in the tech world, according to Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster. Further, the analyst claimed the iPhone company has the potential to develop more fashionable AR devices that people would crave, contrary to the current prototype devices.
Apple AR gadgets will be more fashionable
Munster notes that constant efforts are already being made in the development of AR devices such as Microsoft’s HoloLens and Sony’s SmartEyeglass Developer Edition, due to be out this year. However, in terms of consumer acceptance, such devices can experience a setback as these are usually tacky and awkward-looking, says a report from CNET.
In regards to this, Munster suggests Apple could manufacture wearable AR products that would entice consumers, as the analyst feels style is the key to adoption these days. In addition, the analyst asserted that the company’s recent hiring of some big names in the fashion world, namely Angela Ahrendts (former CEO of Burberry), Paul Deneve (former YSL chief) and Marcela Aguiler (former GAP executive), suggests that the firm is focusing on design.
Is Apple really working on AR?
Augmented reality can be pictured as an environment having digital information superimposed onto the physical world. One of the best examples of this is Google Glass. On the other hand, virtual reality puts one in a digital space that completely displaces the real world, such as headsets Oculus Rift and Sony’s Morpheus. AR technology could apply to a myriad of applications ranging from facilitating instant navigation to suggesting recipes in the kitchen.
Apple holds patents encompassing a wide range of AR functions, for instance, a smartphone that uses computer vision to identify physical objects in real time. However, on what platform Apple would employ AR technology is still unclear.
In addition, the news of the company having a R&D team working on augmented reality has not yet been confirmed. But job postings by the company seeking a display system engineer along with AR/VR programmers to work on hardware and software have led Munster to believe otherwise. Nevertheless, the actualization of consumer-oriented AR systems still seems almost a decade away.