Apple engineers working in Israel may surprise with a new augmented reality (AR) product in 2017. No headsets required. The augmented rather than virtual reality product is for the iPhone. Business Insider has reported on an interview with Apple CEO Tim Cook noting that the company is pursuing AR as the next big thing. Apple’s recent AR-related acquisitions include a 3D sensing company named PrimeSense (Tel Aviv), a software company named Metaio (Germany) that lets users apply different colors and finishes to products, and a cyber-security and a facial recognition company named RealFace (Tel Aviv).
Apple may be more interested in AR because it connects people and adds information to the user’s environment. By contrast, VR in its current form is an isolating experience involving a headset that blinds the user to the real world. Will Apple be the winner in AR? We may get a piece of the answer soon.