The iPhone XS is here – what does it mean for augmented reality?

As we all know by now, the new iPhone launch happened last week – was it groundbreaking? Possibly not. Was it interesting? Definitely.

So, what has changed? In a nutshell, the phones are bigger and the batteries are better. That’s the crux of it if we really pare it back – but of course, this is Apple, so it is all about the details.
In terms of augmented reality, there are some key updates that will make AR more accessible and more efficient for users in a range of ways. This clearly highlights Apple’s commitment to augmented reality as a key feature embedded into iOS and, eventually, into our everyday lives.


Getting technical: from processors to ARKit

Firstly, the new A12 processor is hugely more capable than the previous A11, which will have a significant impact on the AR capacity of the new iPhones. Supposedly it is capable of running five trillion operations per second, compared to the A11’s six hundred billion.

ARKit has also been improved, with an enhanced surface and object detection and an AR Quick Look feature that extends AR through iOS 12, making it possible for AR objects to be viewed through Safari, and then shared through mail or messages. This opens up new possibilities for browser-based AR that have not been achievable on this scale previously, again dropping AR firmly into the user’s day to day life.

supersaurs 2 augmented reality book

In terms of aesthetics, the XS and XS Max feature high caliber OLED screens that house between 2 and 3 million pixels, giving the screens impeccable display performance. This is bolstered by the quad-core graphics chip which is 50% faster and more responsive than the one featured in previous models. Together, these improvements will allow AR experiences to look and perform better than ever before.

Powering up: compulsory Apple battery update

The battery power improvements cannot be ignored or downplayed, regardless of how underwhelming they may seem in the grand scheme of things. These phones are said to have battery power that can last up to 90 minutes longer than previous iPhones, which doesn’t sound like much but has the potential to make a huge difference.

Enhanced battery power will spell good news for many companies using AR experiences to reach their customers; without the fear of an app killing their battery, people are much more likely to integrate AR apps into their lifestyle, opening the door to more consumer-based AR applications that can be used on the go.

So, what does this all mean for businesses?

With 69% of consumers expecting retailers to launch an AR app in the next 6 months, businesses are running out of reasons not to take full advantage of the opportunities that augmented reality technology provides them.

Augmented reality shopping and the future of retail infographic 2

As the mobile tech industry continues to innovate and improve (with Apple still leading the charge), the market for augmented reality solutions will continue to grow. With such high demand and a supercomputer in every pocket ready and waiting to unlock the new reality, there has never been a better time to invest in augmented reality.

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