At the latest Worldwide Developers Conference held in San Jose, California, Apple revealed that it is betting big on augmented reality (AR), the nascent field of technology that uses the latest advances in camera and graphics technology to integrate the digital world into the real world.
Several top players in the tech industry are looking toward the AR industry as the next big platform in a post-smartphone world, and with its release of ARKit, software that makes it easier for app developers to create AR apps (think Pokémon GO), Apple took a large lead in this emerging field.
CEO Tim Cook has expressed notable interest in the field, dubbing it “extremely interesting” and referring to it as “something we’re doing a lot of things on behind [the] curtain.”
Cook mentioned that Apple has been investing considerably in both virtual and augmented reality and that the tech giant remains committed to the field’s development “for the long run” as he believes that it is” a great commercial opportunity.” Over the past year, Apple has executed a number of acquisitions of virtual and augmented reality companies, substantiating his remarks.
The company hopes that the development of the AR market will help combat shrinking iPhone sales, as the company reported declining sales of the world’s most popular smartphone for the second straight quarter.