Here are the signs that point to Apple's next big innovation in computing, according to one analyst
Munster has picked up on a few clues within the industry that indicate Apple could be working on some type of augmented reality device. For example, the company acquired a German augmented reality startup called Metaio earlier this year, which was reported back in May.Munster notes that Metaio owns 171 worlwide patents related to augmented reality technology, which would put Apple in 11th place for the number of augmented reality and head-mounted display patents held. Google, Microsoft, Sony, and Samsung still place ahead of Apple in that regard.
Munster initially predicted that PrimeSense's tech could be used for motion detection inside the long-fabled Apple television, but that ended up being a bust. Now, however, Munster acknowledges that those types of sensors could benefit an AR headset, since the motion detection cameras could be used for indoor navigation.The company also recently poached an audio engineer from Microsoft who worked on its HoloLens augmented reality headset. According to LinkedIn, an Apple engineer hired in July named Nick Thompson previously worked as the audio hardware engineering lead at Microsoft for the HoloLens.
Audio is important in augmented reality, says Munster, because positional audio can make the experience more convincing (i.e. feeling like a certain object is in front of you or behind you, etc.).invested heavily in Magic Leap, a secretive company that's working on its own augmented reality platform that's supposed to be mind-blowing.
This would be the first time Apple has explored the augmented reality field, although it has filed patents for technology related to AR in the past. One, for instance, covers "interactive holograms," while another describes a head-mounted display.
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