Apple To Bring Augmented Reality To Apple TV+

Apple TV+ subscribers will get more for their $4.99 monthly subscription.

Bloomberg News reported Apple Inc. will introduce augmented reality (AR) next year to its TV+ service.

AR adds digital elements to a smartphone camera or tablet and creates an illusion that holographic content is a part of your world. It’s different from virtual reality (VR), which immerses viewers in an artificial environment.

The news service reports AR will facilitate extra experiences based on shows, rather than complete episodes or series being created with the technology.

In one example, the program “For All Mankind,” an alternate version of 1969 where the Soviet Union beats the U.S. to the moon during the space race, might feature a virtual lunar rover displayed on a viewer's device that seems to drive atop a family room table.

Think of it as bonus content customers might get when they buy or download a movie, such as bloopers, director commentary and interviews with the stars, all accessed from Apple’s TV+ app on the iPhone or iPad.

While the feature was slated to be released latest this year, the impact of COVID-19 pushed it to next year. Apple is also planning to unveil an Apple headset in 2022 centered around augmented and virtual reality, sources told Bloomberg.

An Apple spokesman declined to comment.

Earlier this year, Apple said it was updating its AR Quick Look, the company’s AR development platform for iPhone and iPad, to enable merchants to sell its products in-app for an instant AR experience. The retailer provides the 3D model and Apple uses ARKit – handling everything from scaling to lighting – to display it as it should look. These AR shopping tools don't require an app. They show up in Safari and link out to tools that use the camera viewfinder in the AR Quick Look mode, which many already use.

“Users can interact with your virtual content by moving and scaling it using touch gestures, or by sharing it with others through the iOS share sheet,” an Apple blog post said. The company added a Quick Look browsing feature to Safari two year ago.

Last fall, Katy Huberty, a Morgan Stanley analyst, predicted Apple TV+ would be highly successful and help Apple’s services offerings grow 20 percent in 2020.





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