Apple is in the middle of developing their own AR app for the upcoming iPhone operating system. The new app is being designed to help users get more information about the world around them through the simple use of augmented reality. Codenamed Gobi, this app will also be playing a big part of the bigger AR projects that Apple seems to be working on.
Based on the 9to5mac.com code findings, Apple is testing this app with the Apple Stores across the world as well as Starbucks in various locations. Users would simply hold their phone up to a new product inside of the Apple store and an interface with the price, product information, and comparable features would all be available to see.
The iPhone and iPad (and eventually some sort of wearable) would know what to display from a local QR code. If that isn’t the route that Apple is taking, then iBeacons or the rumored Apple AirTags could also be a trigged point for an AR display.
For the Devs
There is also some type of SDK or API integration for the app to host third-party code. This would allow other companies to provide their own tags and in-turn make their own assets or scenery when the code is scanned on the mobile device. This would be an extension into apps that are already inside of the app store, not with the Gobi app. Apple is currently working with Starbucks to integrate this into their app and it give other developers a roadmap on how to make it work with this generation and next-gen iPhones.
It isn’t clear if Apple is going to have this API be a free one for everyone to use, or if it will be locked down to select partners and users with the right apps. It could very well be like CarPlay that is only enabled through certain exterior devices. If it is a free-for-all, you could see a lot of apps and a lot of developers make something clunky out of the newest advancements from Apple, something they likely don’t want done.
This is also a big advancement for the possibility of AirTags. Unlike anything else we have seen, the Apple AirTags would give an AR display over something that is lost. It would pin-point right where you would be able to find your lost device. This seems extra important for devices like watches and AirPods, something that seem to go lost the second they aren’t attached to you. You will reportedly be able to put your own tags on other valuables, such keys, jackets, and anything else you seems to misplace on an hourly basis.
The AirTags were rumored for a 2019 release, but it never came to light. This, along with the newest AR app from Apple, should be making a release in the coming months. For more AR and VR community news, make sure to check back at VRGear.com.