Apple’s big AR push reportedly starts with iPhone, but won’t end there

As companies like Samsung and Google augment their phones with virtual reality capabilities with headsets like the Gear VR and Daydream View, Apple may go a different direction with augmented reality.

The Cupertino-based tech giant is reportedly bringing together a team driven to push augmented reality into an everyday technology - not just for smartphones, but also wearable devices later down the line, according to sources at Bloomberg.

In addition to Apple's usual talent pool of software and hardware staff, the report claims engineers who have worked with Dolby Laboratories, Oculus' virtual reality technology, and Microsoft's HoloLens headset are involved in the iPhone maker's AR efforts.

Given the challenges of miniaturizing supercomputers into something people want to wear, (see: Apple Watch) it appears Apple's plan is to first amplify the AR capabilities of its smartphones before going all-in on a new line of AR-ready wearable tech.

iPhone, then iGlass?

This report fuels previous rumors that Apple is looking into AR technology, to include the part about the company's take on smart glasses, though it appears that a separate wearable à la Google Glass is still be a long ways away. 

That said, AR tech for the iPhone may not be as far off the horizon. Reports claim that the iPhone 8 could come equipped with a powerful, AR-capable graphics chip, as well as an improved camera with AR potential.

Apple's own Tim Cook also sees ample promise in augmented reality, saying that he feels AR could an everyday technology on the level of the smartphone. 

He also added that he prefers AR to VR, saying that few people want to "lock themselves out from the world," so it might be best to uncross those fingers if you were also hoping for an Apple spin on the Oculus Rift.

Parker Wilhelm
Parker Wilhelm is a freelance writer for TechRadar. He likes to tinker in Photoshop and talk people's ears off about Persona 4.