Apple searches for the next big thing

Robot soldiers are patrolling the streets of a rainy east London. In a video filmed on a handheld iPhone, the armed machines march past graffiti-strewn walls and stand guard outside unmarked doors in Shoreditch, as pedestrians hurry past, huddled under their umbrellas.

As a vision of the distant future, the video is faintly dystopian, but as a preview of Apple’s new product offering, it is more uplifting. The images use the new “augmented reality” effects that will launch next month with the latest version of Apple’s iOS operating system for iPhones and iPads.

While the pedestrians in the video are genuine, the robots are not — an example of the way AR blends digital graphics with the real world.

Apple’s new ARKit technology takes the complex combination of computer vision, tracking sensors and mapping software found in Pokémon Go or Snapchat.

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Mike Rawson

Mike Rawson has recently re-awoken a long-standing interest in robots and our automated future. He lives in London with a single android - a temperamental vacuum cleaner - but is looking forward to getting more cyborgs soon.

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Apple searches for the next big thing

by Mike Rawson time to read: 1 min
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