Apple Executives Discuss AR and its Potential to Transform the World

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Mike Rockwell, Apple’s head of AR, and Allessandra McGinnis, senior product manager for AR, talk about the company’s efforts in augmented reality and its transformational capacity (via CNET).

Apple AR

Since 2017 Apple has been slowly building augmented reality into its platforms. The introduction of ARKit in iOS 11 let developers access a framework to build apps like Pokémon GO and IKEA’s Place app. Then in iOS 12 the company launched the Measure app to use your iPhone’s camera to measure your physical surroundings.

This year we received special hardware to enable augmented reality with the LiDAR sensor in the iPhone 12 Pro/Pro Max and the 2020 iPad Pro. Charles Carriere, founder and president of Scandy, believes that the range of the sensor is roughly 15 feet, which enables even more AR apps like 3D room scanners.

Although Apple’s rumored AR headset could be a strong catalyst to really make augmented reality the norm, it starts with the devices in our pockets.

AR has enormous potential to be helpful to folks in their lives across devices that exist today, and devices that may exist tomorrow, but we’ve got to make sure that it is successful. For us, the best way to do that is to enable our device ecosystem, so that it is a healthy and profitable place for people to invest their time and effort.

It’s not just devices with screens either. in iOS 14 Apple added a spatial audio feature for AirPods Pro. This helps make AR an even more immersive experience. Mr. Rockwell believes AR’s “killer app” as quick experiences that happen instantly.

Something that you’re dipping in and out of three, four, five, six times a day to do various things, and they’re lightweight experiences. The killer app is really that it’s going to be used in a kind of regular basis all the time in these little ways that help you to do the things that you do today, that make them easier and faster.

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