Augmented Reality is still an emerging technology. But Apple is already slated to profit from it.
Now AR isn’t the same as VR. Think Pokemon Go and you’ll get the picture. Think of it as having another layer on top of what you see naturally. It’s about enhancing your experience within the real world using digital information. As opposed to VR which replaces the real world with a fully digital environment.
Take a hotel for instance. Just by looking at the hotel you can be pushed room availability, cost per night for those rooms, reviews on the hotel and even what those rooms look like.
Wamsi Mohan from Bank of America Merrill Lynch predicts Apple could make an additional $1 billion before 2020 from sales of AR software.
Also, he expects Apple to include dedicated 3D sensors to the back of the 2019 iPhone (there are already such sensors in the front). This would bring increased device sales to people who want AR apps, netting Apple an additional $6B to $8B before 2020.
Last year, Apple’s CEO Tim Cook said he viewed AR as profound and believed Apple was in a unique position to lead in the tech. The company even released its 1st version of ARkit in 2017 and the second generation at 2018’s WWDC. This is set of tools enabling developers to create augmented reality applications for iPhone and iPad.
Apple is currently working on goggles that are completely wireless and are a mix between VR and AR. Apple’s aim is a high-resolution device, with an 8K screen for each eye.
If the Apple AR/VR glasses rumors are true, Apple will face stiff competition from Microsoft when they launch, as well as Facebook, HTC, and other companies. Right now Microsoft is featuring the Hololens to its enterprise customers. On the other hand, Windows Mixed Reality glasses are being designed for users of Windows 10 who want to experience AR.