Apple launched iOS 11 today, and this means that anyone with an iPhone or iPad that supports the new software can now jump into augmented reality. And we’re not talking about the pseudo-AR of Pokémon Go — this means, to paraphrase Obi-Wan Kenobi, games and apps which take the first steps into a larger world.
It’s also an important step if Apple and Facebook are to lead mobile AR to becoming a $60 billion-a-year industry with 1 billion users by 2021, as tech adviser Digi-Capital projects.
But what does this mean to you or me, folks who might consider themselves as early adopters but aren’t sure what to make of AR taking its next step on iOS? Well, the first thing you’re going to need is … patience. Remember, iOS 11 is new, and I’d caution against updating it until Apple works out the bugs.
Yet this message of patience goes beyond just waiting for Apple to work out issues with iOS 11. In 2015 and 2016, we saw a great deal of excitement — and one could argue overinvestment — in consumer virtual reality. 2017 brought about the so-called “trough of disappointment,” as we’re seeing few breakout hits for VR games and experiences. I sense impatience with this sector, frustration and fear that it’s not growing faster.
But people — investors, developers and designers, and fans — should be more patient. And I’m hoping that same sense of impatience doesn’t crop up with AR. Sure, some may argue that it stands a better chance just because billions of iPhones and Android devices are in the market. People don’t need to add costly VR PCs, because most of us already have AR in our pockets thanks to our smartphones.
Please, though, be patient. Give developers and designers time to craft these experiences, the visors and headsets to enhance them, and the breathing room to work on them once they’re out. Otherwise, we may be talking about AR’s trough of disappointment in 2018.
For AR/VR coverage, send news tips to Dean Takahashi and Jeff Grubb (for those that cross over into PC gaming). Please send guest post submissions to Rowan Kaiser. Please be sure to visit our AR/VR Channel.
—Jason Wilson, GamesBeat managing editor
P.S. The Ready at Dawn studio’s Lone Echo shows off a deft touch when it comes to storytelling in VR.
Apple showed off some upcoming augmented reality apps at last week’s keynote event. With the iOS 11 launch today, people will be able to download and give AR a try for themselves. Earlier this year, Apple tried to hype up developers by unveiling its ARKit software development kit at its Worldwide Developers Conference and showing its commitment […]
Entrepreneurs building companies around augmented reality, virtual reality, and computer vision have a new funding source to help get their businesses off the ground. Shasta Ventures today announced a new Camera Fund that’s designed to provide an early infusion of cash for those companies. Shasta expects to provide 20-30 companies with $100,000 each, prior to […]
The potential of AR is firmly into the spotlight for global technology companies. Keen not to miss out on what some say could be bigger than the smartphone itself, Chinese tech juggernauts Baidu, Alibaba, Tencent, and others are investing heavily in AR through mobile games and advertising experiences. In this piece, we’ll share three key […]
On the heels of settling a sexual harassment lawsuit earlier this month, the founders of virtual reality startup Upload have broken their public silence with an apology for how they handled the issue. The lawsuit was filed in the spring and was settled earlier in September. However, it was apparently only as the New York Times was […]
In case you don’t have enough things to do in virtual reality, you can now run 2D-screen Android applications within virtual reality on the Samsung Gear VR, thanks to a new version of Samsung’s PhoneCast app debuting today. The app works on the Samsung Gear VR headset, which uses your mobile phone to give you a […]
High-flying augmented reality startup Magic Leap is trying to raise $500 million at a $6 billion valuation, according to a report in Bloomberg. The Florida startup has already raised $1.3 billion to fund its AR glasses, which have been the subject of much speculation because they can reportedly create very high-quality animations over the real […]
It’s a company of re-invention. Many of the former VFX artists from the bankrupted Rhythm & Hues and behind such Oscar-winning or nominated fare as The Matrix trilogy, Life of Pi, the first Harry Potter, The Hunger Games and Snow White and the Huntsman and the former president of TV Land have joined hands in Blackthorn Media to create a new level of VR. The first big project is Dragonflight, which just launched worldwide this past week on three different VR platforms and uses the theory of gaming mixed with virtual reality. (via Deadline)
I’m not sure if you’ve heard, but the environment isn’t doing so well. Ridiculous levels of carbon emissions, a heavy reliance on fossil fuels and a lack of general concern to rising temperatures across the globe have begun showing their effects as we see our Earth respond to these dramatic changes. (via VR Scout)
South African startup Speak Geek? recently teased an update to their project that aims to replicate the official Microsoft version of Minecraft for HoloLens, the company’s $3000 AR headset, and put it on mobile devices capable of running Google’s ARCore and Apple’s ARKit. (via Road to VR)
If you don’t have the budget for a $500 Oculus Rift headset and a thousand dollar VR-ready gaming PC, here’s a far cheaper solution. A die-hard Commodore 64 fan created a pair of virtual reality goggles for the classic 8-bit computer that can be easily found for just a few bucks at thrift shops around the country. (via Gizmodo)
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