Apple’s Future Hinges on Dominating Augmented Reality

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* Augmented Reality uses digital information to enhance the real world
* Snapchat and “Pokemon Go” are current examples
* Interactive manuals and temperature adjusting clothes are next

Augmented Reality (AR) is the future of tech, and Apple’s success at the field is key to its future profits, reports Fortune. As the site explains, “AR includes any technology that uses digital information to seamlessly enhance the real world.”

Although it’s a new buzz word, most of us are already familiar with AR through apps like Snapchat and the “Pokemon Go” craze. The former, allows users to change their appearance. In the latter, users visit real-life locations to collect virtual game characters.

While those examples may seem like a frivolous application of new technology, it’s smart to remember that’s how most revolutionary changes start. AR is already being applied to GPS navigation systems. Soon it will be used to make headphones that cancel background noise, interactive instruction manuals and even clothes that adjust to changing temperatures.

Apple is hoping to become the leader in AR because over the next decade, the technology is expected to revolutionize screens — including those of phones and tablets — as we know them. iPhone sales contribute to 69% of Apple’s revenue, and iPad sales represent an additional 7%. The tech giant also takes a cut of all software sold on those platforms. Without becoming the dominant player in AR, Apple could see 75% of its income dry up as AR replaces smartphones.

The good news for Apple is that they are poised to do well. The next step is to apply AR to wearables, namely glasses. “Consumers will require wearable AR devices to look fashionable, unobtrusive and not obviously a computer,” notes Fortune. “Google Glass failed at all of these.”

Fortunately for Tim Cook, Apple is the leader at making technology fashionable.