There has been a lot of hype about the new iPhone 7 and the dual camera that it comes with, primarily because of special features such as environment mapping and gesture recognition capabilities. However, let’s take a step back and discuss why this is important.
Apple Likes AR
For some, Augmented Reality is often considered the superior of the two reality technologies out there because it allows you to be a lot more flexible.
“…my own view is that augmented reality is the larger of the two, probably by far.” – Tim Cook, CEO of Apple
However, why is that? Well, first of all, the world for AR had already been created. You are reading this article in the world that AR uses for its world. Most of the heavy processing required by VR is due to environment generation. It has to keep a constant model of a world in view while you are playing, which requires heavy graphical and processing power. Remove the need to generate and maintain a world and you only need the power of a top-end computer developed in the 1990’s. This means that a lot more things can be done with AR than can be done with VR, provided we have environment mapping.
The current problem with AR is that you usually have to print something out or take a picture with a lot of shadows in it in order to map out your area before you can play in AR. I think my favorite AR game, right now, has to be Warp Runner, which has me take a picture and it goes wonky regularly. With environment mapping, this no longer has to be a requirement and sprites (characters) can be generated with accuracy in the real world. This means Pokemon won’t look like they have been printed out and put in the middle of the road.
What are my controls?
Since there is a possibility to recognize hand gestures, this could mean a lot more than just having controls to a video game. This means that individuals could perform desktop work from the comfort of their own homes using AR to type on a computer that is located in an office. This means meetings could be done internationally where people could see each other through AR. This could very well be a complete revolution on nearly every type of industry. Walkthrough several real estate houses without wasting gas. Go to college without ever leaving your house and gain the experience you would get by working with others in the AR world.
What does this mean for fitness?
We’ve said it time and again that AR would be the final home run for fitness since you could both go outside and exercise. One of the core components of exercise is to go outside to see some sunshine, something our bodies need on a daily basis. Instead of having to have an expensive rig with a headset that you trip over cords in order to connect to, you simply take out your phone and tap on your favorite application. You would see an explosion of different fitness applications and games that heavily incorporated fitness.
While this is ALL just speculation, one can’t help but notice the certain actions that Apple has taken towards the AR world and how tight-lipped they’ve been on their own plans. The CEO of Apple has shown great interest in developing for this world and this would be an explosion if they made it possible on their device first. We would see the most massive push for Apple phones ever and Android would be hard pressed to match them.