10 years ago, Apple released the first iPhone, and changed the technology atmosphere forever, replacing music players, flip phones, and pagers. There’s no doubt the iPhone will be around for quite a lot longer, but with new technology coming out as recently as 5 years ago up until now, smartphone enthusiasts may have to switch their expertise in a decade or so. At WWDC 2017, Apple’s Tim Cook revealed some new software to be released for iPads and iPhones, Augmented Reality, or AR. Some may have thought of this as just a toy for kids in AR-reinforced mobile games, but this could actually signal a traumatic drop of sales in a multi-billion dollar industry.
For the people who are unfamiliar with this topic, I would like to clear up something that is commonly tossed around when discussed with these types of matters, which is Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR). There are more types of reality technologies, like Mixed Reality (MR) and Augmented Virtuality (AV) but they are not related to this subject matter, so I’ll make this less complicated. The Webster Definition of Virtual Reality is “an artificial environment which is experienced through sensory stimuli (such as sights and sounds) provided by a computer and in which one’s actions partially determine what happens in the environment.” Augmented Reality’s definition is as follows: “an enhanced version of reality created by the use of technology to overlay digital information on an image of something being viewed through a device (such as a smartphone camera).” To put more simply, VR is used mostly with video games to immerse you in their story and/or setting even more than you would be just focusing on a monitor or television. AR is more used to add images to what you already see in front of you, like adding furniture to your house through an app on your iPhone or iPad’s camera. Now let’s bring this back to the subject at hand.
Does anyone remember Pokémon Go? Of course, you do. How could anyone forget the most crazed game of 2016’s Summer? Well, if we dive in the task of catching wild Pokémon, you’ll begin to notice that this process involves the use of AR. Even though it did drain your battery, Augmented Reality was used to catch these animated creatures when a Pokémon appeared to be flexing on the sidewalk of your subdivision. You could turn the AR mode off, but what a cool feature, to make your game seem to be a part of your real life world. This kind of technology had been developed a couple years before the release of the mobile game, but it just was not entirely put to it’s greatest use in that length of time.
How about Google Glass? Augmented Reality was the lifeblood of this product and the main reason it was so publicized.
[Watch commercial above for better understanding of Google Glass] Just think of how efficient we could be if we had this technology in our everyday lives, not to mention using fewer materials to produce each part of the product since there’s less to the glasses would help our environment indefinitely.If you have an eye prescription, that works out perfect with
these. You can have lenses custom cut for the Google Glass to have your technology connected to everything you see, and obviously, these can be used without lenses and wear contacts or nothing if you have perfect vision.
Are you starting to realize what I’m trying to emulate for you? These ideas of new productivity tools have been around for a little more than a decade to outsmart the
smartphone and keep your pockets only filled with a wallet and keys. Nonetheless, Apple has noticed these advancements and decided implement Augmented Reality into their software. Who knows, it may even be Apple to stomp over their own hardware again by coming out with a fully fledged AR piece of firmware, making the iPhone obsolete, just like they did to the iPod ten years ago. I mean really, why not? We’ll all be in flying cars sooner or later, right….?