This week, Apple gave its customers an idea about what might be next, and it could help change the way people interact with their screens and their environments forever.
Ho, hum, right? VR has been a promise for years, but its audience is primarily a niche group of gaming nerds. And mainstream consumers aren’t exactly reaching for their wallets so they can strap on an expensive headset to watch a relatively limited amount of content.
AR games are growing in popularity. Pokémon Go was a sensation for a while: Look at the world through your phone to collect Pokemon characters that might be lurking behind a sign post in your neighborhood.
The technology has a ways to go, but the promise is cool: With VR, you can feel physically present in the game or movie, interacting with the “world” around you. With AR, you interact with the actual world around you with enhancements that could show you directions and notifications without constantly peering down at your phone.
Apple doesn’t want to be caught flat-footed if and when mainstream consumers finally adopt virtual reality and its less-closed-off cousin, augmented reality. And if Apple does embrace the technology, which it has been long-rumored to, it could be the company that finally breaks through.
If any company is going to help make a funky-futuristic technology popular, it’s Apple. It has a way about bringing strange technologies to the forefront. Apple’s magic isn’t quite as simple as slapping an Apple logo on a preexisting technology and making it seem “normal.” But it’s close.
VR seems far off in the future, but Apple knows we won’t be carrying around and looking at phone screens for the rest of time. Whether it’s a pair of glasses or contact lenses or some other technology that replaces the iPhone, it’s coming.
Apple blew up its Mac business when it developed the iPhone and iPad. Apple wants to blow up those businesses, too … before someone else beats it to the punch.