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Apple May Soon Debut Phone-to-Phone Augmented Reality

Apple next week will debut tools to let two iPhone users share augmented reality (AR) while limiting the personal data sent to its servers, two people familiar with the matter said this week.

AR allows viewers to see virtual structures superimposed on their surroundings via their smartphones or other devices. It is the technology used in mobile game Pokemon Go, and by industry, such as factories seeking to map new assembly lines. Apple and rival Google are racing to release AR tools to attract software developers to their platforms. Both are seeking to allow two people to share data so they can see the same virtual object in the same space via their individual devices. But that has sparked privacy concerns – if AR apps become commonplace, people will be scanning their homes and other personal spaces routinely, developers say.

Apple designed its two-player system to work phone-to-phone in part because of those privacy concerns, one of the people familiar with the matter said.

The approach, which has not been previously reported, differs from Google’s, which requires scans of a player’s environment to be sent to, and stored in, the cloud. Apple declined to comment. Bloomberg previously reported that Apple would announce multiplayer AR at its developer conference, which begins on Monday. – Business Standard

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