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Is Apple working on putting Augmented Reality tech into the iPhone’s Camera?

Business Insider is reporting that Apple has a secret team of engineers working on integrating augmented reality into the iPhone’s camera app.

Citing a source “familiar with the matter,” it’s believed that the team features members from various startups previously acquired by Apple.

Augmented reality, similar to virtual reality, is becoming big business, and while many companies are focusing on the more immersive gamifying nature of the latter, Apple clearly sees a brighter future in the former, which takes the users surroundings and enhances them using layers of information or graphics. A decent example of augmented reality technology in recent months is the arrival of Pokemon Go. The smash game allows users to explore the real world, while looking for Pokemon, which are overlaid graphically via a smartphone camera when the user comes into contact with them.

Read the snippet from the article below or read the full piece on Business Insider.

“By adding AR technology into the iPhone’s camera software, Apple wants consumers to be able to point the phone at a real-world object and have it be recognized, according to the person familiar with the matter. That would require creating or licensing a database of 3D objects.

Another early feature for Apple’s AR integration into the camera app could be to recognize and manipulate people’s faces. Apple integrated facial recognition technology into the photos app in the most recent version of its iOS software, and purchased FaceShift, a company with similar technology in 2015.

Apple has acquired several AR and virtual reality technology companies in recent years including Metaio, in February 2014 and Flyby Media in January 2016. The employees from both groups are now working in Apple’s camera group.

Eventually, the person said, after the AR features are built into the iPhone camera app, Apple will release the technology behind them as an SDK for app developers, like it did with its Touch ID fingerprint sensor. At that point, Apple will become a competitor to companies like Vuforia and Blippar.”

The report expands on the recent revelation that Apple is exploring augmented reality smart glasses for use with the iPhone and demonstrates how it might potentially be integrated.