With the introduction of the iPhone 8 coming soon more predictions are hitting the street. Full production of the newest iPhone typically begins in May and hits full stride in August.
Simona Jankowski, a Goldman Sachs analyst, believes that there's a strong chance Apple will incorporate augmented reality features into the iPhone 8, joining current AR smartphones, Lenovo Phab 2 Pro and Asus ZenFone. In a note obtained by Benzinga, Jankowski said that "the inclusion of 3D sensing functionality is increasingly likely, which could enable a robust augmented reality (AR) feature set that we believe will be a key differentiator for the 10-year anniversary iPhone."
Jankowski also points to Apple's rumored relationship with Lumentum (LITE) a 3D-sensor technology company report from Fast Company. "Our source says Apple has been working with Lumentum (formed when JDS Uniphase split in 2014) on 3D-sensing technology for the new high-end phone. It remains unclear how the technology will be applied, however. It could be used to recognize the user's face for authentication. It could also be used in the camera to provide better image resolution. It could even be used in some form of augmented reality application."
Jankowski notes that Lumentum during its most recent earnings conference call said that they just "shipped our first revenue into what we believe could be a high volume mobile device application."
How will Apple implement augmented reality? There are reports that users will be able to point the iPhone 8 at an object and the device will be able to identify what's the camera sees. Other reports options are the iPhone 8 will able to readily identify and manipulate faces, like what current popular apps like MSQRD.
Tim Cook is a huge fan of augmented reality. Cook spoke in glowing terms about augmented reality, likening it in potential to the smartphone. "I'm excited about Augmented Reality because unlike Virtual Reality which closes the world out," Cook said during an interview last week, "AR allows individuals to be present in the world but hopefully allows an improvement on what's happening presently”.
Ming-Chi Kuo, who likely has the best track record among Apple analysts, has gone said that Apple's AR implementation will be 1-2 years ahead of the competition. There are also reports that Apple plans to release augmented reality powered smart glasses by 2018.
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