Earlier this year at WWDC, Apple made a big show of featuring augmented reality as a central part of iOS moving forward. But since then, other than comments from the company's CEO, Tim Cook, we haven't seen much direct promotion of augmented reality from the company. Until now.
On Monday, Apple quietly debuted its first-ever augmented reality commercial on YouTube via its United Arab Emirates channel.
Simply titled "Augmented Reality," the ad shows us an iPad Pro user (who appears in a previous iPad commercial) who stops her bike in the middle of a public square. She then holds up her device to capture a man sitting at bench and begins adding augmented reality furniture around him that is scaled and positioned perfectly, blurring the lines between virtual objects and reality.
The app featured in the commercial is called Housecraft, a home decorating app developed by Sirvo LLC, a team based in Los Angeles and Chicago. Aside from the very high rating the app has on the iOS App Store, it's also notable that Apple decided to feature an indie developer in a major commercial for ARKit-powered apps rather than showcasing a major partner.
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The message is subtle, but it comes through: Apple understands that its augmented reality future will depend on the developer community, so highlighting these smaller AR pioneers represents an investment in its own future.
As for the ad itself, it's super short, but like most Apple commercials, very effective. No special effects or post-production needed, just the normal Apple marketing magic that continues to convince consumers to pay a premium for the company's products despite the wide array of cheaper alternatives available.
Apple's first AR commercial has finally arrived, and with it, the true start of AR's mainstream push by the biggest tech company on the planet. Your move, Google.