Apple “may have over 1,000 engineers working on a project in Israel that could be related” to augmented reality, claims UBS analyst Steven Milunovich in a new note to clients.
Because of this, Milunovich suggests that Apple is viewing AR as one of the next big areas of tech innovation. One possible application could be, “moderate 3D mapping” which might arrive as soon as this year’s iPhone upgrade — along with an AR software development kit.
This is hardly the first time Apple has explored, or been vocal about, augmented reality as an area of possible interest. Previously it has acquired AR companies including 3D-sensing company PrimeSense; Metaio, a startup that specializes in creating augmented reality tools for businesses; and cyber security and facial recognition company RealFace.
In his note, Milunovich suggests that Apple is more interested in augmented reality than virtual reality because it can be used to connect users rather than separating them out in their own virtual worlds.
Tim Cook has also talked about the power of augmented reality, even saying that it’s impact is potentially “huge” and on a level with the impact of the iPhone.
“It gives the capability for both of us to sit and be very present, talking to each other but also have other things, visually, for both of us to see,” Cook said in an interview with ABC News Good Morning America, in a comment listed as part of UBS’ research note.
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Source: Business Insider