Apple is unwilling to open safari to support webxr and is criticized for hindering ar innovation?

 Apple is unwilling to open safari to support webxr and is criticized for hindering ar innovation

Apple has spent the past five years telling the public how much the company loves augmented reality (AR) technology, and CEO cook has always told the outside world how he expects ar glasses to become the next iPhone; Apple even has an AR glasses team composed of thousands of people. Although cook kept telling the outside world how much he loved AR and apple invested heavily in AR, he was reluctant to promise one thing — Create a web based ar

Foreign media “Protocol” pointed out that Apple has been reluctant to open the support of iPhone Safari browser for webar, which will hinder the possibility of AR adoption

Christopher lepkowski, an immersive computing expert, also said frankly that Apple has been dragging down webar’s innovation

Christopher lepkowski, technical director and partner of pretty big monster, a Los Angeles marketing company, which creates ar experience for brands such as Netflix, Warner Brothers and American Airlines. He said that it will take several years before the popularity of consumer ar glasses. Now ar related marketing activities have to rely on mobile phones. After all, there is no other device more popular than mobile phones

If you have ever experienced AR on your mobile phone, you will know that some brands have tried to persuade consumers to download special applications in the past, so that brands can let consumers experience their own ar marketing, but it is obvious that consumers are often reluctant to download an additional special application just to see movie characters walking around their living room

Jason Steinberg, managing partner of pretty big monster, also said that when the brand forces the audience to download special applications, it will instantly lose 50% of consumers

But the good news is that AR technology can be applied to operate outside the application. This is due to browser and device manufacturers including Google, meta, Samsung, Mozilla and magic leap. They jointly developed the webxr standard, which makes it possible to run AR in the browser and allows consumers to experience ar directly in the web page

The Chrome browser for Android has supported the beta version of webxr as early as 2018; Samsung and opera began to increase the support of their browsers for webxr in 2020. But Apple hasn’t added support for webxr to safari browser in IOS from beginning to end

Apple not only does not open Safari’s support for webxr, but other browser manufacturers are also unable to import webxr into the iPhone, because Apple forces these manufacturers to use Safari’s WebKit rendering engine to build the IOS version of their browsers; In other words, even if the Chrome browser is downloaded on the iPhone, its underlying technology does not support webxr format, so Google cannot bring the web-based ar experience to iPhone users through the IOS version of chrome

 Apple is unwilling to open safari to support webxr and is criticized for hindering ar innovation

In the absence of Apple’s official support, it is not that there is no way to realize the AR experience based on Web pages, but the cost of this method is relatively high

At present, the most popular solution is to use the AR engine of 8th wall, an AR start-up company, which supports slam and other key technologies. This is a technology of synchronous positioning and map construction concept, which can realize the AR experience without using Apple’s arkit. It’s just that you have to pay a license fee every month to use the technology of 8th wall. This license fee is not difficult for big brands, but it will be a problem for educators, artists or independent developers who want to try to provide ar experience

Why Apple doesn’t want iPhone safari to support webxr is still a mystery. After all, the company has been a member of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) for many years, and W3C has been planning webxr related standards in the past

Maciej stachowiak, head of Apple’s WebKit project, has also publicly expressed Apple’s enthusiasm for webxr standards in the past; Even in September 2020, an apple employee participating in the W3C immersive web group even revealed that webxr had been added to Apple’s WebKit. At that time, many people were excited about this statement, but they didn’t see any signs of Apple opening Safari from the beginning to the end

Some people speculate that apple is generally hostile to the open Internet, but Blair MacIntyre, a professor at Georgia Institute of technology and a pioneer of webxr, disagrees with such speculation; He said that apple used to adopt the two standards of apple webgl and webrtc very slowly, but suddenly one day Apple suddenly reversed its past practice and directly adopted the two standards

As apple is getting closer to the day of publishing its own head mounted display products, there are more and more signs that apple is turning to embrace webxr. Recently, it has also been found that there is a code suggesting support for webxr in the IOS test book, but the final result will not be revealed until Apple launches this new product

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