Apple reportedly plans to start adding augmented reality (AR) content to Apple TV+ programming, Bloomberg claims in a report published Wednesday.
The AR feature, which will supposedly debut next year, aims to find “new ways to attract and retain” subscribers for Apple’s VOD subscription service. Apple also hopes to use it to show off its AR tech.
Bloomberg‘s report notes that:
“In the new feature, elements of a TV show, like characters or objects, would be displayed on a viewer’s phone or tablet and integrated into the surrounding environment. For example, someone watching a moon-walking scene in the Apple show For All Mankind might be able to see a virtual lunar rover on their device’s display, seemingly perched atop their living room coffee table. The option would serve as bonus content akin to the director commentary or trailer that accompany a movie download and would be accessed from Apple’s TV app on the iPhone or iPad.”
The idea sounds fun, albeit a little gimmicky. The idea of adding a “second screen” element to Apple TV+ viewing shows that Apple is looking to engage with new ways that people watch TV. But it would presumably only work as described above if a person was watching the show with a secondary iOS device to hand. (You couldn’t watch For All Mankind on your iPhone, while also watching an AR extra.)
The AR boost Apple TV+ needs?
Ultimately, it’s hard to imagine that such a feature would attract new subscribers in massive numbers. But it could be a fun added extra for those who are already enjoying Apple TV+. It’s also in keeping with Apple’s present policy of adding bonus content to augment Apple’s services. A previous Bloomberg report suggested that Apple is looking to introduce podcasts related to its existing TV+ shows.
Tim Cook has been particularly bullish about Apple’s push into AR. “My view is it’s the next big thing, and it will pervade our entire lives,” he said earlier this year. Both the new 2020 iPad Pro and the forthcoming iPhone 12 come with (or, in the case of the iPhone 12, is rumored to come with) a LiDAR scanning for better AR capabilities. Apple is also reportedly planning to release an AR headset, possibly under the name Apple Glass.
Would you find AR content for Apple TV+ a compelling reason to check it out? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.