With the world becoming more and more digital, technology’s potential to revolutionise our lives is only getting bigger and better. One area that’s seen a lot of growth in recent years is augmented reality (AR) technology. AR allows users to interact with digital objects in the real world. It creates immersive experiences like never before, blurring the line between reality and imagination. The technology has been around for some time now, but with the widespread use of smartphones, AR has become increasingly accessible to everyone. In this post, we’ll discuss the use of augmented reality technology on iPhones, while exploring its rapidly growing potential.

What Is Augmented Reality on iPhone?

Augmented reality is a type of technology that overlays digital information onto the world around you. This is done through a camera and screen, such as that of a smartphone or tablet. AR technology can recognise objects in the real world, like furniture, household items, cars, trees, or even humans. It then uses that information to display relevant digital content on your smartphone or tablet screen. This allows for an immersive experience, with users able to interact with digital objects from the comfort of their own homes and anywhere else that they might be.

On iPhones, augmented reality is possible thanks to a combination of hardware and software. The camera is used to capture the real world, while the device’s processor crunches the data and overlays digital content onto the screen.

How to Use AR on an iPhone

If you have an iPhone and are excited to use it to start interacting with digital objects in your daily life, you’ll be glad to hear that using AR on an iPhone is simple. There are several apps available that allow you to use AR for different functions, from entertainment and gaming to shopping, to productivity. To use AR on an iPhone, follow these steps:

  1. Find an AR app: There are several AR apps available in the App Store. All you need to do to find them is search for the keyword ‘AR’. Or you can browse the ‘Augmented Reality’ category.
  2. Install the app: Once you’ve found an app you like the look of, install it on your iPhone.
  3. Launch the app: Open the app and follow any necessary set-up process. Once ready, point your iPhone’s camera at the environment or objects that you want to use AR with.
  4. Follow the instructions: You’ll typically find instructions within the app on how to interact with the digital content. This might involve moving your iPhone around or tapping your screen to interact with virtual objects.

Uses for AR in Daily Life

AR is no longer limited to video games and futuristic movies and TV shows. These days, it’s being used in a growing range of applications, from education to entertainment, and even at work. Here are some exciting examples of how AR is changing our everyday lives:

  • Retail: Retailers are increasingly using AR to provide an immersive shopping experience to their customers. By using AR, customers can see how products are going to look when they’re delivered. For example, they might use AR to see how a new sofa will look in their living room or to try on a new pair of shoes before buying them.
  • Education: AR has a lot of exciting uses for education. Students no longer need to head out on expensive and time-consuming trips to visit historical sites, for example, as they can explore them from the comfort of the classroom. This is making education more accessible for students who may not have had the chance previously.
  • Workplace: AR in the workplace can boost productivity and improve safety. For example, employees can access instructions, guides, and rules without leaving their desks or workstation.

Some Examples of AR on iPhones

AR is becoming more and more widespread, and there is now an immense number of AR apps that you can download and use on your iPhone, with various uses. AR can be used for work, shopping, fun, productivity, and much more. Some popular AR apps you can get on your iPhone include:

  • Snapchat: This popular social media app has been around for some time. It’s used by people of all ages but is especially popular among the younger generations. In Snapchat, you can use AR to add filters, objects, and more to your photos and videos, creating a more fun and immersive experience.
  • Pokémon Go: The game that everybody was talking about during the COVID-19 lockdown – Pokémon Go is an excellent example of AR in entertainment and gaming. It allows users to find and collect Pokémon in real-life places such as parks, shopping centres, houses, and more.
  • IKEA Place: If you buy IKEA furniture for your home, then you may have heard of this app. There’s nothing worse than buying furniture that doesn’t fit like you thought it would when you get it home. IKEA Place aims to reduce that frustration by allowing customers to see how furniture items from IKEA will look and fit in their rooms before committing to a purchase.
  • Measure: The Measure app is a handy tool to have on your iPhone. If you can’t find a tape measure or a ruler, it overlays a virtual ruler onto the real world, allowing you to quickly get the measurements of just about anything using your phone.

Common Challenges With AR

Although it’s clear to see that AR technology has a lot of potential to transform the way that we interact with the world, it does not come without its own set of challenges. Some of the main challenges to be aware of for both users and developers are as follows:

  • User experience: AR technology is still in its infancy, and the UX might not always be the best. Developers are focusing on creating more intuitive, user-friendly applications to make future uses of AR even better for the end-users.
  • Technical limitations: AR technology is still limited by the hardware and software capabilities of the device that it is being used on. For example, when using AR on an older iPhone, the battery life might not always be sufficient for extended use.
  • Privacy concerns: There are several privacy concerns surrounding the use of AR since it can be used to collect data on the user’s behaviour and environment. Developers must be transparent when it comes to how they collect, store, and utilise user data.

The Future of AR

Despite its challenges, AR technology does have a bright future indeed. We can expect to see a lot of advancements in this technology in the coming years, which is excellent news for iPhone users who enjoy using AR apps. Some potential developments that we might see soon include:

  • More wearables: AR technology is already being incorporated into wearable devices like smart glasses. As these devices become more and more popular, and their use becomes more widespread, we’re likely to see even more innovative uses for AR.
  • Improved user experience: With developers focusing on creating user-friendly, intuitive AR experiences, we can expect this to improve significantly over time.
  • AI integration: AR can be integrated with artificial intelligence, allowing for even more immersive, intelligent experiences.

Apple’s Role in AR

Apple is a brand name that has been at the forefront of AR technology. The company has made significant investments in this space. For example, the ARKit technology has been released to make it easier than ever for app developers to create new and innovative AR apps designed for use on iPhones. Plus, Apple has introduced AR on a variety of its native apps, including the Clips app and the Measure app mentioned earlier.

What’s more, Apple has also introduced further device features, offering even more AI technology support. For example, the TrueDepth iPhone camera system enables face tracking, allowing for the creation of more realistic, interactive AR experiences. Apple has also introduced LiDAR technology to the latest iPhones and iPads. LiDAR uses laser technology to scan and map the environment, making AR experiences even more accurate and immersive.

Apple has heavily invested in content creation. They’ve partnered with content creators to come up with new, exciting, and original AR experiences. For example, they’ve partnered with the Pokémon Go creators to develop an AR game based on the popular Harry Potter franchise.

Last but not least, there’s also an Apple AR headset in the works. It’s rumoured to be a mixed AR and virtual reality (VR) headset and is expected to be a standalone device, meaning that you won’t need an iPhone to use it. Once released, users will have access to even more interactive AR experiences, with a device that has the potential to transform the way we interact with technology.

As Apple continues to invest in AR technology for its devices, the options for users are only growing. Currently, you can use AR on iPhones for shopping, gaming, entertainment, social media, productivity, and much more. And even more exciting developments are set to emerge, as it’s clear to see that Apple views AR as a significant part of technology’s future.