The launch of the latest line of iPhones came and went without major revelations for advanced AR hardware other than the next iteration of processors and cameras.
The reaction to the new iPhones from AR investors and influencers of the NR50 was, in a word, tepid.
Inbar & Emrich: Apple Came Up Short on AR Expectations
Ori Inbar, co-founder of the Augmented World Expo (AWE) and AR-dedicated venture fund Super Ventures, provided the most verbose response to the launch.
In a post on Medium, Inbar builds the case that ARKit and ARCore are not the platforms that will usher in mass adoption; rather, the AR Cloud, which will enable shared AR experiences across "space, time, and devices" is the ultimate goal.
As such, the lack of true enabling hardware from the next generation iPhones left him wanting.
"I was hoping the iPhone X will introduce a key ingredient for massive AR adoption — not the ARKit — but rather a back facing depth camera that will put in the hands of tens of millions a camera that senses the shapes of your surroundings and can create a rich accurate 3D map of the world to be shared by users and for users — on The AR Cloud. That hasn't happened yet, hopefully it will in the next version. This will only slow down the creation of the AR Cloud — but it cannot stop the demand for it," wrote Inbar.
Inbar, as co-founder and former CEO of Ogmento, is uniquely qualified to espouse this viewpoint. Ogmento became Flyby Media, whose technology was licensed to Google for Tango before Apple acquired the company to contribute to ARKit.
Meanwhile, his counterpart in AWE and SuperVentures, Tom Emrich, expressed excitement in Apple's lineup, but disappointment in the AR department.
"Sexy iPhone X design. Face ID. Animoji. Apple Watch LTE. All awesome! But this wasn't the 'AR' event we were all hoping for," he tweeted Tom Emrich, Inbar's counterpart in AWE and SuperVentures.
Majahran: Apple Swung & Missed on Consumer Utility Apps
Another investor, Amiit Majahran, managing partner at Presence Capital and co-creator of Farmville, has previously noted that ARKit apps would have to "do something really special" to breakthrough in the App Store.
He did not see this from Apple.
"Apple under-delivered on consumer AR utility apps this keynote. Visual search (the AR OS) was notably missing. Next WWDC will be important," he tweeted.
Scoble: 'Augmented Reality Was Totally Undersold'
Finally, Robert Scoble, AR influencer and partner at consulting agency Transformation Group, opted not to confine his views to Twitter and expressed his reactions on Facebook.
"Augmented reality was totally undersold. One dismal demo which didn't look all that fun at all. Where is multi-player? Where are multiple demos? Over on Apple AR World we have dozens of fun demos. I assumed we might see a bunch of different things. But very few were demonstrated and the ones that were just looked uncreative and presented in a boring way, which no effort at explaining why Apple's new OS is bringing a new world to us. In other words, almost nothing showed up that I was expecting. But I probably will buy it anyway," he wrote.
Scoble's concluding statement speaks well for Apple's sales figures. However, as the white knight for AR adoption, they seem to have some work to do.
Every Friday, Next Reality reviews the latest headlines from the financial side of augmented and mixed reality. This weekly Market Reality column covers funding announcements, mergers and acquisitions, market analysis, and the like. Check out previous editions of Market Reality for more news you may have missed.
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