Apple Joins Microsoft, Google In Race To Be No. 1 In Augmented Reality – Forbes

Apple CEO Tim Cook speaks at the Apple WWDC 2017 event in San Jose, Calif., Monday, June 5. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

at its Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) in San Jose last week gave its app developers a new kit to create augmented reality apps. Apple calls it ARKit.

There are hundreds of millions of Apple iPhones and iPads, leading Apple CEO Tim Cook to say at the event that ARKit, running on the new Apple iOS 11 software due out this fall, “becomes the world’s largest augmented reality platform overnight.” Rumor has it that Apple is also working on smart glasses similar to Google Glass.

Virtual reality is a hot technology generating a lot of buzz among investors. But its sibling augmented reality may yield even bigger gains. Augmented reality has been around for several decades, but the big-cap tech giants are homing in on it as it nears broad deployment.

In the July issue of the peer-reviewed journal ACM Transactions on Graphics, Microsoft reveals that it has created the design for a pair of augmented reality glasses. Like Google Glass, they will overlay data onto the glasses lenses. As a bonus, they will also correct vision problems.

Apple shares are up about 29% this year amid a long run for the tech sector. It closed down 4.2% though at 148.52 Friday as techs stumbled. rose 48% from a mid-June 2016 48.91 close to a new all-time high at 72.52 on June 6 before consolidating. It closed at 70.32 Friday.

“I have talked with Microsoft and Google and they’ve given us insight into the market,” BCC Research analyst Gaurav Bhushan told me in an interview. “I think the hardware and software market for VR and AR combined will be $120 billion by 2025.” Bhushan said about 70% of that will be augmented reality.

“Augmented reality is sort of a human-machine interface,” Dataquest Principal Analyst for Personal Technologies Tuong Nguyen said. “First there were PCs, then laptops, tablets and smartphones. Now we are entering the next phase.

“Because we deal with the real world all the time, that’s why augmented reality will eclipse virtual reality,” in sales, Nguyen said.

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