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The next iPhone camera could recognize faces and objects using AR

Apple will reportedly bring augmented reality to its iPhone camera app.

Sarah Tew/CNET

Apple's big 10-year anniversary iPhone could have augmented reality built right into the native iOS Camera app, according to a report by Business Insider. If true, Apple would be taking on Google in the AR department; that company released its first phone with a depth-sensing camera, the Lenovo Phab 2 Pro, this past June.


Apple could follow in Google's Tango AR footsteps with a depth-sensing camera of its own.


Apple CEO Tim Cook sees a big future for AR, the same technology that plopped the monsters of Pokemon Go on the real-life street in front of you. Apple has acquired AR app start-ups like Flyby Media and Metaio, so we've had an idea that we'd see Apple take a swing at AR, but it hasn't been clear exactly how.

With AR in the camera app, the iPhone could recognize people or objects when you point the camera in their direction. Apple already does something a little like this with iOS 10's facial-recognition software, using it to sort photos based on who's in them. Apple could also incorporate filters right into the camera app, similar to what's found in Snapchat.

Reports surfaced this week that Apple is considering its own glasses wearable, and bringing AR to iPhone cameras could be that first step, along the lines of Google Glass and Snapchat Spectacles. The the report suggests that Apple glasses wouldn't come until 2018 at the earliest.

Apple did not immediately respond to CNET's request for comment.