Tech industry observers agree that Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) has a lot of catching up to do in the VR and AR space. Rival companies like Google (NASDAQ:GOOGL), Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) and even Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) have been frequently demoing their own AR/VR tech in the past months. According to KGI analyst Ming-Chi Kuo however, this can change in at least one to two years.
In a note given to investors, the analyst (who has been reliable with Apple insider info) states that AR is a great fit with Apple’s drive to provide engaging and innovative technologies to consumers that dramatically change the way they interact with their devices.
Consumers can expect that the Cupertino-based company will incorporate AR and VR technologies into the iPhone first, which is one of the most popular mobile devices today. There have been rumors that Apple can integrate basic AR functions into the upcoming iOS 11. Also, some reports suggest that the company may utilize or even develop applications similar to popular iOS game Pokémon Go, which utilizes the iPhone camera for a smooth and seamless AR gaming experience, as a means to test consumer oriented AR applications.
Kuo also says that as Apple’s AR tech gains traction, it will be integrated into the company’s expansive portfolio of devices and services. For example; AR can be used to interact with the Apple TV, allowing users to have a revolutionary and seamless way to interact with the device without the need for remotes and other unwieldy methods of control.
It is notable that Apple CEO Tim Cook is very vocal about the importance of AR to the company moving forward. “There’s virtual reality and there’s augmented reality – – Both of these are incredibly interesting. But my own view is that augmented reality is the larger of the two, probably by far, because this 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. “said the CEO in a Good Morning America interview last September.
Also interesting is that over the past few months, Apple has been very active at bolstering its resources in the AR space. Aside from numerous related hires, the company has also been acquiring companies and patents pertaining to AR, with Flyby Media (which also worked on Google’s Project Tango) being one of the latest AR-focused companies to be acquired.
With Kuo’s statements, along with all these industry indicators, it can be safely said that we will be seeing concrete AR applications and devices from Apple sooner rather than later.