While CEO Tim Cook has repeatedly shared his enthusiasm for augmented reality in past interviews, Apple is yet to go down that path – but it appears the electronics giant could finally integrate the technology in a big way with the forthcoming release of the iPhone 8.
In a note obtained by Benzinga, Goldman Sachs analyst Simona Jankowski speculates the next-generation iPhone will likely push the Big A deeper into the augmented reality market.
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“The inclusion of 3D sensing functionality is increasingly likely, which could enable a robust augmented reality feature set that we believe will be a key differentiator for the 10-year anniversary iPhone,” Jankowski said.
The analyst further remarks the AR features will likely present a “significant step-up” in terms of innovation.
Referring to recent rumors suggesting Apple is working with optical tech manufacturer Lumentum on its 3D sensing functionality, Jankowski notes Lumentum has indicated its future efforts will revolve around supplying what could prove to be a “high volume mobile device application.”
This isn’t the first time Apple has been said to be considering upgrading the iPhone with AR functionalities, but this latest report adds further credence to the speculation.
Given that not too long ago the tech heavyweight acquired AR startups Metaio and Flyby Media, the possibility Apple could introduce boosted AR features to the new iPhone doesn’t seem that far-fetched.
However, it remains unclear whether the augmented reality gimmicks for the iPhone will also be compatible with the company’s other plans for developing AR hardware.