Apple’s huge AR push will be even bigger after iPhone X

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Siri AR concept
New iPhones will make augmented reality even greater.
Photo: Gabor Balogh

Apple’s big push into augmented reality will grow even greater with the powerful new hardware packed into iPhone X. The device is expected to bring new camera technologies that, combined with iOS 11, make AR experiences even greater.

Augmented reality apps and games have been available on smartphones for years, but with the exception of Pokémon GO, they’ve never really had a significant impact on anything. That’s expected to change when iOS 11 goes public this fall.

The update supports a brand new Apple framework called ARKit, which makes it easier than ever for developers to utilize iPhone and iPad hardware to deliver incredible AR experiences. We’ve already been blown away by some of the early demos using existing hardware.

And those experiences are about to get even greater. The Wall Street Journal reports that iPhone X, which will be unveiled at Apple’s special event on Tuesday, will bring new hardware and software that make ARKit even more powerful, without the need for other devices.

“A new high-end iPhone is expected to be unveiled Tuesday with a dual-lens camera system and 3-D sensors that improve depth-sensing and enhance augmented-reality experiences,” it reads.

This will be followed by a “flood” of new AR apps and games that will place products in our homes before we buy them, allow us to explore virtual worlds from the comfort of our living rooms, and enjoy immersive movies like never before.

“This is one of those huge things that we’ll look back at and marvel on the start of it,” Apple CEO Tim Cook told analysts last month.

Some expect the advent of AR to be so big that it will help reinvigorate iPhone sales, which have been falling in recent years on the back of disappointing upgrades since iPhone 6. Later on, it could help Apple sell brand new devices.

Although the technology isn’t there yet, some analysts believe Apple is eyeing future augmented reality devices — like smart glasses — that will improve the experience even further, and negate the need to hold up an iPhone or iPad.

All this makes Apple’s next-generation iPhone lineup even more exciting.