Apple has been the long sleeping giant in the VR and AR space. That all came to a stop last week as they announced new projects that are doing both. WWDC is Apple’s annual developer's conference. This year Apple announced their upgraded macOS High Sierra that would support external GPUs via Thunderbolt 3 port. What does all that mean? It means Apple computers can finally handle VR! But you gotta carry a big ass box.
This is what progress looks like. No, it isn’t the ideal setup for Mac VR developers but it is promising. However, there is a long way before Mac developers, let alone consumers, are ready to consume and produce content on Mac’s platform, but it is a start.
Along with VR, Apple also announced their introduction into augmented reality with their ARKit. ARKit is a development platform that will allow AR apps to appear on iOS 11, which is a huge boost for mobile AR. This kit will allow developers to make content that will be accessible to all iPhones and iPads. The technology is about the same as Google’s Tango. The user can tap the screen and place augmented objects that are overlayed on top of the real world. Apple says it uses “fast table motion tracking”, “ambient lighting estimation” and the “latest computer vision technologies.” The technology won’t surpass Google’s Tangoe platform. However, it is not about technology but the reach it has.
Even though Apple is really late to the party, it is all in Apple fashion. Much like they did with the mobile phone, Apple waited until the industry tried some things and matured a little bit before creating a more streamlined solution. This is why a lot of developers and content creators will still rush to create on Apple’s platform. One of the biggest reason this is such a big deal is because of the reach Apple will have due to the sheer amount of iPhone and iPad users. This will really increase the awareness of augmented reality in our normal lives.