Apple is said to be preparing a big new update to the iPhone 8 that could change the way you see the world and interact with it.
In a note to investors this week, UBS analyst Steven Milunovic said that augmented reality could prove to be the biggest addition to the 10th anniversary iPhone. He said that Apple has an army of more than 1,000 engineers looking at augmented reality, and those folks are apparently working on some sort of project out of the company's offices in Israel.
He believes the effort will ultimately yield a big boost to the next iPhone's list of features.
In his note to investors, Milunovic, whose comments were earlier reported on by Business Insider, said that Apple is internally focused on AR because of its ability to connect people and get them to interact. Apple believes virtual reality is too isolating.
Apple is expected to announce three new iPhones this year. Two of them, the iPhone 7s and iPhone 7s Plus, will reportedly deliver only minor updates over last year's iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus. But the iPhone 8 will apparently offer a major upgrade that could include an all-new and all-glass design, a new high-end processor, and a curved screen that uses OLED technology.
Apple has been bullish on augmented reality for quite some time. In fact, Apple CEO Tim Cook has said he believes AR has more appeal than virtual reality, a technology that places you inside a virtual environment instead of placing virtual elements over the real world like with augmented reality.
Exactly how AR could be featured in the iPhone 8, however, remains to be seen. Milunovic believes that the feature could be used to create "moderate 3D mapping." He also says Apple could look to third-party developers to create augmented reality software that would live atop the company's AR platform.
Apple, of course, hasn't provided any hints at what it might be looking to offer in its next device.