Feedback Loup: Clips

Feedback Loup: Clips

Yesterday Apple released Clips, a new app for iPhone users. Apple describes Clips as, “A new iOS app for making and sharing fun videos with text, effects, graphics, and more.” And Clips is fun, but it doesn’t show us the kind of augmented reality lenses and layers that we were hoping to see from Apple.

We’ve written a lot about how AR will change the way we interact with computers. Over the next several years, the smartphone will increasingly become a window through which users can see an augmented world. Players like Apple and Google are well-positioned to win the jump ball to own the dominant operating systems in that new paradigm. Google’s leadership in core disciplines like maps, data, and content make it an important incumbent. Apple’s leadership among app developers and payments will be important, but we think design is Apple’s trump card in AR. But Clips is more filters and effects than lenses and layers. There is an interesting real-time transcription capability, but unfortunately Clips is short on true AR.

In about 5 min. I was able to put together a short video with text, effects, filters, and music. Clips uses fairly rudimentary real-time computer imaging, but this could be the beginning of the underlying technology that will one day direct you to your seat in a stadium, overlay talking points during a presentation, or provide instructions as you assemble new furniture.

We’re surprised that Apple isn’t pushing the features in Clips to more users faster by integrating those features with iOS core functions like Camera or Messages. With Clips, Apple had three options:

  1. Fully integrate it into an existing iOS app (like photo filters in the Camera app).
  2. Release it as a standalone app pre-installed on iOS devices (like the Home app).
  3. Release it as a standalone app available for download in the App Store (like Remote app).

Apple chose option 3 for Clips. Eventually, we think AR functions will be fully integrated into not only the Camera app, but any app that wants to access the iPhones camera to overlay app-specific information over the real world. Clearly, Clips doesn’t give us much direction as to what Apple’s plans are for AR on the iPhone, but we expect more hints to drop soon. We expect Apple to reveal some AR capabilities when the company shows iOS 11 for the first time at WWDC in June. And we expect to see even more of an AR focus when the new iPhone is released this fall.

Disclaimer: We actively write about the themes in which we invest: artificial intelligence, robotics, virtual reality, and augmented reality. From time to time, we will write about companies that are in our portfolio.  Content on this site including opinions on specific themes in technology, market estimates, and estimates and commentary regarding publicly traded or private companies is not intended for use in making investment decisions. We hold no obligation to update any of our projections. We express no warranties about any estimates or opinions we make.

Apple, Augmented Reality, Feedback Loup