Unlike VR which requires enormous headsets and transports you to a virtual world of make believe, AR keeps you in the real world and adds virtual elements. The definition of Augmented Reality (AR) is an interactive experience of a real-world environment where objects that reside in the real world are enhanced by computer-generated perceptual information, sometimes across multiple sensory modalities, including visual, auditory, haptic, somatosensory and olfactory.
Apple have already began developing apps using AR technology including features to allow developers to insert real people into virtual spaces using the iphones camera view. Some of the most popular AR apps include:-
- BBC Civilisation AR
- Google Translate
- Ink Hunter
- Ingress Prime
Apples AR headsets will be fully wireless, thin and light and look like a regular pair of glasses as opposed to the more bulky VR headsets. It is rumoured the processor will be in a different device that will render the scene and transmit the video back to the glasses which will essentially act like a display. The glasses will also house a mobile camera which will be used to track the real world environment, with the separate device used to process most likely to be the iPhone. Apple AR glasses will be sold as an iPhone accessory similar to the Apple Watch or AirPods giving Apple a completely new product category.
It is rumoured Apple will release the glasses in 2023 with the intention of the glasses one day replacing the iPhone. Apple believe that once their battery and processing chips improve, the glasses will be able to house batteries and processors without the need of an iPhone to process and transfer video back to the glasses.
Apple glasses will essentially allow you to see everything on your iPhone directly in front of your eyes through the glasses. Imagine a world where you can view your social media feeds, email and text messages directly in front of you but not taking up your entire field of view. You will be able to view the feeds via a small window overlay which you will be able to resize and reposition yourself. The glasses will have Siri integration meaning they can be voice activated and will have a small trackpad incorporated into the frame of the glasses.
We imagine the glasses will be integrated with maps enabling you to view augmented signs such as arrows in the direction you need to go in real time without the need to look on your phone as we currently do. We also expect screens to be augmented in to your field of view meaning you can watch multiple screens at the same time whilst still seeing the real world.
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