Apple has been involved in AR for some time now. Their devices such as iPad and iPhone have the hardware to support AR. Sensors such as LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) sensor, motion sensor, and also a powerful graphic processor helps in creating Augmented Reality on the device screen. This technology has been used for entertainment by apps such as Snapchat. Moreover, it is also useful for educational purposes such as Apollo’s moon shot and for utility such as the Ikea app.
So far Apple has not released any Virtual Reality device. However, they could be working on their own version of VR glasses. Like every other product that Apple has launched, they don’t give out too much information before the release. So it’s still a guess when it will be released. Recently Apple has been patenting technology related to VR and AR which clearly illustrates this is something they are keen on. According to a report by the Morgan Stanley (Investment Bank) team, “Apple’s patent portfolio is beginning to mirror the period prior to the Watch launch.”
Apple’s Impact on AR and VR technology
A trillion-dollar company will have a massive effect on AR and VR technology. Apple will be looking to leverage its Apple ecosystem to sell VR devices. With the market share Apple has in the market, this is a huge advantage. A survey by Morgan Stanley shows that once Apple joins the VR world, it will accelerate the adoption by upcoming companies. Even though Google, Facebook, Amazon, Microsoft, etc have VR devices, Apple can disrupt the market with their release. According to a poll, 35% of the respondents would buy an Apple VR device over any other brand.
Technical Challenge of designing AR glasses
For a successful product, Apple will have to overcome many technical hurdles. AR uses sensors and also requires some sort of display. So to put all that in glasses with a battery that should last at least a day would be a challenge. To put a “supercomputer” into a pair of glasses is not an easy task. According to Mark Zuckerberg, it is one of the hardest technical challenges of the decade. Apparently, Apple has taken on this challenge and we will have to wait and see the results.
Apple. (2021). Augmented Reality. https://www.apple.com/augmented-reality/
Metaverse Only Gets Real When Apple Joins, Morgan Stanley Says. (2021b). Bloomberg. https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2021-11-12/metaverse-only-gets-real-when-apple-joins-morgan-stanley-says
Seitz, P. (2021, November 15). Augmented Reality Won’t Take Off Until Apple Enters Market, Says Morgan Stanley. Investor’s Business Daily. https://www.investors.com/news/technology/augmented-reality-wont-take-off-until-apple-enters-market-says-morgan-stanley/
Condon, S. (2021, April 28). Mark Zuckerberg calls AR glasses “one of the hardest technical challenges of the decade.” ZDNet. https://www.zdnet.com/article/mark-zuckerberg-calls-ar-glasses-one-of-the-hardest-technical-challenges-of-the-decade/