Augmented Reality has been stealing headlines as software giants the likes of Google, Facebook and now Apple, Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) have been upping the tempo in this trending market. Apple has announced the release of its AR platform, ARKit, to developers.
This in itself may not be momentous news, but the future that this opens the door to is enticing. With the broader access developers can incorporate augmented reality tools into their apps, something that can further down the road lead to virtual reality applications being available on the iPhone. And this is where Apple has an advantage over the big dogs of AR, the massive amount of iPhones and iPads in the world, and the fact that they all run on the same operating system. This means that even before roll out, Apple already has the market cornered, whereas Google’s Android runs on a fragmented operating system, and Facebook doesn’t have the device presence, period.
Apple is still the dark horse, its machine learning is vastly behind Google and Facebook, but the company has recently been upping its efforts in the field, acquiring MetaiO and FlybyMedia, as well as rolling out the Apple Neural Engine. It is also reported to be working towards AR Goggles. And unlike Google Glass, which saw its demise be tied to the fact that no one could do anything with it, Apple is expecting app makers to ramp up production for AR inspired applications. Why? Because it has released ARKit. Because now there are over 700 million iPhones which can run apps made with ARKit without problem, and because Apple has found a way to position itself perfectly to reintroduce a technology that hadn’t caught wind before. Sound familiar?
With the AR market slated to be worth $108 billion by 2021, according to VR/AR advisor Digi-Capital, this is a lucrative niche that Apple has wiggled its way into it.