Apple’s iPhone 8 is enjoying plenty of time in the spotlight, despite being the best part of six months away from its official release. And away from all the talk of curved screens and facial recognition smarts, the rumour mill has turned its attentions to virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR).
It’s all thanks to a series of reports that suggest Apple is looking to get its new iPhone ready to push VR and AR into the mainstream. Here’s what we know so far.
1) A VR–friendly vertical camera setup
The latest chatter about Apple’s iPhone 8 centres on its camera set-up. Not on pixel count or lens smarts, but rather how it will be configured. Japanese rumour mongers claim that supply chain sources are saying the iPhone 8’s camera will be a vertical affair, with one lens on top of the other, rather than side–by–side.
The reason? To ensure it works in a VR headset, where cameras have to be horizontal. Could that mean...
2) An Apple VR headset?
Possibly. No solid hardware rumours have emerged about such plans. But seeing as Samsung already has its Gear VR and the basic Google Cardboard allows Android phones to be used as VR machines, surely Apple would not miss a trick and make its iPhone 8 VR–ready without the necessary accessories?
3) Dedicated smart connector...
Reports earlier this month suggested that the iPhone 8 would have a special three pin smart connector, similar to that found on the iPad Pro. This could allow it to slot into a headset and connect without having to resort to an unseemly looking port.
4) Or could it be AR instead?
Much has been made of Apple looking towards AR rather than VR to make its mark. Tim Cook has made no secret of his love of the technology, calling it ‘huge’ and suggesting it would soon be ‘core’ to all smartphones.
He sees it as a way of making people’s lives easier, layering mapping information or business details on screen. It could also have implications for satnav and fitness apps. Including AR smarts in the iPhone 8 would certainly give it an edge against Samsung’s Galaxy S8 and other top–end devices.
5) Glasses in the works
Earlier this year, rumours emerged pointing towards a new set of Google Glass–style specs being made by Apple. Seeing as the Big G’s efforts were a failure, this would be a risk by Apple.
But it could allow it to bring the iPhone 8’s AR experiences to life for consumers, without them having to pull their phones from their pockets. Perhaps it could power up using the same smart connector pegged for an Apple VR headset.