News, VR/AR, Wearables

APPLE AND AUGMENTED REALITY

Augmented Reality

AUGMENTED REALITY

While tech bloggers have been talking about Virtual Reality being the next big thing, Apple’s CEO Tim Cook has a different viewpoint on this issue. We have recently come across the news of Facebook acquiring Oculus for the huge amount of $2 Billion. Sony and Google don’t want to be left behind in this scenario. They have come up with Daydream technology and PlayStation respectively. In a recent interview, Tim Cook preferred to choose Augmented Reality over Virtual Reality. He said, “there is no substitute for human contact.” He further explained his company’s thinking on this matter by saying, “And so you want the technology to encourage that.”

He clearly choseAugmented Reality over Virtual Reality and said that Apple is high on AR for the long run. Apple has worked on the AR technology by acquiring PrimesSense, Metaio, and FaceShift. PrimeSense is the name behind technology based on motion sensors used in Microsoft Kinect’s hardware. Metaio is a German company that works on Augmented Reality. FaceShift is famous for the motion capture technology used in all-time favorite of a number of people across the world, Star Wars.

Tim Cook

In an interview with Buzzfeed Tim said:

“There’s no substitute for human contact. And so you want the technology to encourage that. We are high on AR for the long run,” Cook said during an earnings call this past summer. I think AR can be huge. VR, I think, has some interesting applications, but I don’t think it’s a broad-based technology like AR. Augmented reality will take some time to get right, but I do think that it’s profound. We might … have a more productive conversation, if both of us have an AR experience standing here, right? And so I think that things like these are better when they’re incorporated without becoming a barrier to our talking. You want the technology to amplify it, not to be a barrier.”

We all are well aware of Sony’s PlayStation by now. For those of you who are not familiar with Daydream, it is explained by Google as:

“Daydream takes you on incredible adventures in virtual reality. Get ready to immerse yourself in all the things you love.”

Apple’s Augmented Reality Ecosystem

Let’s take a look at Apple’s iPhone 7 Plus, the latest smartphone released a few weeks back. It includes:

  • Wide Color display
  • Two-camera system (gathers stereoscopic data and generates image depth maps)

Similarly, the Apple Watch has:

  • An accelerometer
  • GPS

And last but not the least AirPods by Apple include:

  • Spatially aware microcomputers
  • Two accelerometers
  • Two optical sensors
  • Beam forming microphones
  • An antenna

Don’t you think that all these might be possible parts of an Apple AR Ecosystem?

Making Plans?

Sources say that Apple has been conducting meetings with giants such as Jaunt which specializes in VR products and services.  Facebook’s Oculus Division’s Yury Petrov has been approached by Apple and Zeyu Li from Magic Leap, to be senior computer vision algorithm engineer. However, Apple’s focus is on AR technology. Apple has now publicly announced this and its competitors are putting their eggs in the VR basket for some time to come.


Author: Ayesha Siddique is a mechanical engineering student currently in her junior year. She has an obsession for automobiles and makeup.
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