Apple is developing a new app as part of its work on iOS 14. The new app, codenamed Gobi, will allow users to get more information about the world around them by using an augmented reality experience on the phone. The AR experience would also be part of Apple’s forthcoming AR headset project.
Based on 9to5Mac code findings, Apple appears to be testing integrations with Apple Stores and Starbucks. For instance, users would be able to hold up their phone in an Apple Store and view information about the products on display, get pricing, and compare features.
The iPhone or iPad would know about what augmented reality experience to begin based on QR-code like tags in the area. It is possible that iBeacons or Apple’s AirTags could also act as the trigger.
There will be some sort of SDK or API integration for third-party companies to provide their own tag identifiers, which would load up custom assets and scenery for that company. This would be based on extensions built into downloaded App Store apps. Apple appears to be currently trialing this feature with Starbucks.
It isn’t clear if the API would be a free-for-all or if Apple would use some kind of entitlements system to lock it down to select partners, similar to how they handle the CarPlay API.