Augmented reality lets the user interact with both a computer generated object and the real world, for example the Pokemon Go craze. For a while now there have been rumours that Apple are working on a pair of AR glasses, in June Apple purchased a company that specialises in eye tracking technology, something that is said to be important to improving the way AR glasses work.
Also in June Apple announced and released it’s ARkit platform at WWDC, since then developers have created some very interesting and amazing AR tools for the iPhone. Apple has not confirmed nor denied that it is developing AR glasses, but it’s expansion into the AR area will change the way we use our iPhones. The next big thing may not be another iPhone at all, rumours that they are developing a pair of smart glasses have been around for a few years, it was in 2016 that Bloomberg reported that the smart glasses will use AR, earlier this year (2017) a technology blogger reported that Apple was working with Carl Zeiss AG – a German lens and optics manufacturer on a “light pair of augmented reality glasses” this was according to an anonymous Zeiss employee.
In June of this year (2017), Apple brought another German company, SensoMotoric Instruments (SMI) which specialises in eye tracking technology. While Apple has not and is very unlikely to confirm that they are currently working on a pair os smart glasses, the SMI’s technology can be used to make interactions between the virtual and real world more realist and let the user accurately use their gaze as a hands free type of cursor.
We have already seen how AR can change the iPhone as we know it, Apple’s Tim Cook has said that AR is a “profound” technology so much so that it makes him “want to yell out and scream” since ARkit was introduced in June, developers have created all different types of apps and tools that demonstrate the usefulness of AR for example:
This App that was made with ARkit lets the user measure real world objects using a virtual tape measure.
another tool lets the user see the lay out and customise furniture in any room making it much more easier to decorate a room and see if that sofa will fit in the space before buying it.
Other apps let users paint real life-sized creations anywhere they want turning the world around them into a canvas.
A really cool looking game lets it’s user play a real video game in the real word on a table top.
These apps/tools have been created in a matter of a couple of months (since June 2017) there much more that will likely be created over time. It certainly seems as tho Apple are betting on AR for the long term future and that may be a good idea having seen just a glimpse of what the technology can offer, mix it with iPhone and iPad technology and Apple will have a killer platform, and that’s all before their rumoured AR glasses are announced or released.