What it is: Apple’s augmented reality plans hinge on its recent acquisitions including the augmented reality company Metaio.
Augmented reality will be big in 2017 because Apple will likely release its augmented reality plans to the iPhone and iPad. Such augmented reality will likely rely on Apple’s recent augmented reality acquisitions including Metaio. If you want to see what Metaio was working on before Apple acquired them, all you have to do is look at Metaio’s old press releases.
One Metaio presentation shows how augmented reality can be used for consumer and commercial use that includes interactive magazines and manuals. IKEA even used Metaio’s technology back in 2013 to create interactive catalogs where customers could view furniture in different colors. In the past, showrooms only had room to show one or two colors of furniture, but with augmented reality, you just need one set of furniture on the showroom and augmented reality would let you change the color of that furniture until you find the color you like best.
Creating interactive magazines and manuals relies on a program that was called Metaio Creator, which ran on Windows and the Macintosh, and let you create augmented reality apps for iOS and Android. Whether Apple will continue supporting rival platforms is debatable, but they may restrict the creation of augmented reality to the Macintosh but allow viewing of augmented reality on iOS and Android. This would help cement Apple’s augmented reality technology for mobile platforms while isolating augmented reality creation to the Macintosh.
Undoubtedly rivals will appear for Android and Windows, but Apple could get the jump on the augmented reality market by setting the standard. Even though augmented reality exists from several companies, they don’t have the clout of a major company behind them. As soon as Apple releases its augmented reality platform, you can expect Google and Microsoft to quickly follow suit. Apple is most likely carefully nurturing its augmented reality plans so they can quickly grow and exploit their first-mover advantage while rivals scramble to catch up and rush their competing products into production too soon.
Augmented reality will likely be the big technology news in 2017 and expect augmented reality as a major feature to arrive with the next iPhone. With Metaio’s technology, augmented reality has actually been with us since 2009. Now we just have to wait for Apple to refine it for the next generation.