Apple’s Next Big Thing: Augmented Reality

Apple hasn’t had a big thing since the iPhone in 2007, leaving investors impatient. Augmented reality is it, says Mark Gurman at Bloomberg.

Apple has built a team combining the strengths of its hardware and software veterans with the expertise of talented outsiders, say the people, who requested anonymity to discuss internal strategy. Run by a former Dolby Laboratories executive, the group includes engineers who worked on the Oculus and HoloLens virtual reality headsets sold by Facebook and Microsoft as well as digital-effects wizards from Hollywood. Apple has also acquired several small firms with knowledge of AR hardware, 3D gaming and virtual reality software.

As previously reported by Bloomberg, Apple is working on several AR products, including digital spectacles that could connect wirelessly to an iPhone and beam content—movies, maps and more—to the wearer. While the glasses are a ways off, AR features could show up in the iPhone sooner.

Virtual reality is a gimmick. AR is the real deal. It has practical value, and it doesn’t require you to isolate yourself from the real world in ridiculous headgear.