Although it has repeatedly and publicly professed its preference over virtual reality, Apple has yet to capitalize on augmented reality in a big and long-lasting way. Sure, its ARKit framework has useful applications, perhaps outnumbering Google’s equivalent ARCore, but most have been just that, demonstrations. Quick Look is one such example but it might soon be getting the attention of retailers by enabling a very tempting feature: AR-based e-commerce.
Quick Look on its own was already an impressive show of ARKit’s abilities and the iPhone’s hardware that enable it. It practically allowed users to see how objects, especially furniture, would look inside their house. More than just overlaying a 3D representation of the object, Quick Look also lets users check sizes and even the effect of lighting on the product.
As the name suggests, however, Quick Look was mostly used as a preview, a marketing gimmick to get customers interested in a product. It was pretty much the AR equivalent of a brochure that still put multiple steps between a buyer and a purchase. Apple, however, is apparently working on a way to let users buy from within the AR app directly.
Retailers still need to enable the feature and tie it into Apple Pay but it already takes out most of the friction in making a purchase, like logging into the company’s website and checking the item out. Such effortless purchasing processes are partly what made Amazon so successful, which may entice more brands to hop onto this new AR commerce tactic.
TechCrunch reports that Apple is also working to add spatial audio to Quick Look to create a more realistic experience when placing AR objects in rooms. Rather than have the audio follow you around in your iPhone, it would sound as if the sound is stuck where the objects are. While not useful for lamps and couches, such a feature could improve the experience when buying toys or audio equipment.