Virtual Reality Coming to iOS Within 2 Years, Claims Gene Munster

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Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster believes Apple plans to put iOS at the center of several forthcoming augmented reality and VR innovations set to launch within the next two years.

In a research note obtained by AppleInsider, Munster claims a timeline of recent purchases and hires by the company suggests that iOS support for "mixed reality" applications could be set for launch as soon as 2018.

The analyst points to a LinkedIn search which reveals at least 141 Apple employees with a background in AR, although it should be noted that the same search returns 425 and 267 people with similar experience working at Microsoft and Google, respectively.


Of particular interest to Apple is the concept of "mixed reality" wearables, or advanced optics that use embedded cameras and sensors to blend holographic imagery with real-life objects, claims Munster.

Intellectual property gained via research and development projects as well as strategic acquisitions, such as Apple's purchase of 3D body sensing firm PrimeSense, are said to be behind the recent drive.
We believe 10 years from now Generation Z will find reality inefficient. We believe the concept of an 'inefficient reality' is evident through smartphone use today -- the precursor to mixed reality -- offering users the ability to find more information as needed.
The analyst goes on to suggest a natural progression in the personal technology market from smartphones to AR/VR and believes Apple is looking at VR as an iPhone peripheral, much like the Apple Watch. The prospect of Apple releasing hardware on this front in the near term is seen by Munster as unlikely, although by 2018 Apple may be ready to offer developers an official software framework for licensed third-party hardware solutions, similar to the company's MFi Program for iOS devices.

Munster has made questionable assertions in recent years, with predictions such as Apple's rumored television set having failed to materialize. Still, the note does follow a recent report by Financial Times claiming that Apple has built a "secret research unit" in which hundreds of employees are experimenting with AR and VR technologies. The team is said to be made up of, among others, experts plucked from Microsoft and live-action VR company Lytro.

Apple's interest in virtual reality has gained pace over the last few years, with the filing of multiple patents for VR-related products, like video goggles, motion-sensing 3D virtual interfaces for iOS devices, and 3D "hyper reality" displays. More recently, Apple has made a spate of AR/VR-related acquisitions, including Metaio, Faceshift, Emotient, and image-recognition app creators Flyby Media. Last month, the company hired Doug Bowman, said to be one of the leading VR experts in the United States.

Article Link: Virtual Reality Coming to iOS Within 2 Years, Claims Gene Munster
 

ArtOfWarfare

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Nov 26, 2007
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IDK, I feel like the Apple Watch could accomplish a lot of what augmented reality could (namely, discretely providing extra information about things around you), but without requiring you to wear anything geeky/nerdy/stupid.

I can see overlaying extra info over reality via a car windshield, but I think anything you wear on your face will flop just as hard as Google Glass did.

The real place I can see VR taking off is in entertainment. Who cares what you look like if you're alone?
 
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0007776

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I'm sure they are working on something I have my doubts about if it will ever see the light of day. I just don't see how VR will be able to be done in a way that will really take off.
 
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ncbetz

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Jan 9, 2016
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I want to know something, does anyone hear actually see themselves walking around in some (like said above", geeky or nerdy goggle/glasses thing? It just doesn't seem likely for me.
 
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iMember

macrumors 6502
Mar 19, 2014
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I want to know something, does anyone hear actually see themselves walking around in some (like said above", geeky or nerdy goggle/glasses thing? It just doesn't seem likely for me.
How is this any different for using tablets instead of phones? if other people doesn't have a problem with other people using phablets, this shouldn't be a problem either
 

bushman4

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Mar 22, 2011
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With Munsters track record it's hard to believe he's still at it. He's usually wrong 99.9 % of the time. That's a fact!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
 

Harmonious Zen

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May 18, 2013
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I want to know something, does anyone hear actually see themselves walking around in some (like said above", geeky or nerdy goggle/glasses thing? It just doesn't seem likely for me.
You will if everyone else around you starts using it. I'm with you that maybe the glasses were a little geeky, but that seems more like a design issue.

That said, I still don't see the big deal about VR?
 

Tycho24

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I want to know something, does anyone hear actually see themselves walking around in some (like said above", geeky or nerdy goggle/glasses thing? It just doesn't seem likely for me.
I definitely can NOT.
However, just like the Hermes partnership & the wide variety of Watch options, I actually CAN imagine a point in the future where Tim comes out on stage and says: "we've decided to partner with both Black Flys Sunglasses & Prada Eyewear to provide over 10,000 distinct mix and match custom eyewear frames to support our new Apple Eyewear line. This magical new iOS accessory was built (unlike our competition) with privacy in mind. You will be able to view, create, & interact with mixed reality elements in a dynamic and secure manner that does not include support for surreptitious image capture."
 
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toph2toast

macrumors 6502a
Feb 24, 2011
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How this guy still has a job is beyond me. He comes up with these BS claims rarely based on facts, then blames it on Apple when it doesn't work out.
 

doelcm82

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Feb 11, 2012
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I want to know something, does anyone hear actually see themselves walking around in some (like said above", geeky or nerdy goggle/glasses thing? It just doesn't seem likely for me.
How many see yourself poking and stroking a little rectangle in your hand as though you're petting a hamster, and thinking it makes you cool?