AI and Apple
You may not already know but Apple have been using AI and machine learning in for their services and products for a long period of time. Even though Apple is more strategically known for innovating the technological market, when it comes to AI, this is more somewhat overlooked compared to other companies such as Google or Facebook. However, as AI and machine learning become more incorporated in common tech, we see Apple become more evident in this area.
In 2011, Siri launched as the first widely used AI powered assistant. Asking Siri “Hey Siri, what is the name of this song?” or “Hey Siri, what is the weather like today?” provided all these small conveniences we live by with the power of machine learning. With that, Apple was one of the first smartphones to leverage the use of AI for facial recognition for increased security which took the technology world by storm. Face ID by Apple was created using TrueDepth camera systems, neural networks and the Bionic chips. TrueDepth uses an infrared camera and a dot projector to project out over 30,000 invisible infrared dots to allow neural networks to create a mathematical model of your face. Powered by the Bionic neural engine, iPhone chips were upgraded to A13 and beyond which offered significant improvements in FaceID. This allows you to unlock your iPhone in real-time with adjustments to appearance or mask additions.
In the past two to three years, machine learning has been integrated in every aspect from the iPhone to the Apple Homepod. Apple has exploited its AI capabilities to update and improve features on their products to progress machine learning. Differentiating between the contact of a user's palm or Apple pencil on the iPad, monitoring users' usage habits to optimise device battery life or even advanced health features on the Apple Watch. Recently, Apple Watches have been configured with electrocardiogram technology which in the future could be used as a means of detecting individuals with weak heart pumps. The use of this cutting-edge AI by Mayo Clinic has opened up research into potentially using this type of data to identify individuals with weak heart pumps to reduce the risk of detrimental effects and to help place preventive measures rapidly to those where symptoms are not evident. It is definitely curious to find out what other health features Apple could implement to their Apple Watches as we see this combination of wearable tech and health intertwine.
Machine learning and AI are important to Apple’s future as they are changing the way people interact with technology, and already helping our customers live better lives. This has translated to frameworks such as CoreML. CoreML is a machine learning framework that powers the iOS app developers to integrate machine learning technology into their apps. It supports natural language processing (NLP), image analysis, and various other conventional models to provide a top-notch on-device performance with minimal memory footprint and power consumption. This allows your applications to run smarter, enabling new experiences for your apps running on iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch or Mac.
When referring to AI, it is common for this to be associated with gaming and the power of virtual reality (VR) however, VR has expanded into many industries such as healthcare, retail and real estate to provide an immersive but realistic experience.
Apple has acquired multiple AR/VR companies which may potentially mean expanding their products into this space. Apple has been rumoured to be working on two VR projects which could launch in early 2023. Design-wise, it has been indicated that this will replicate similar headsets already on the market such as the Oculus but we are intrigued to see how Apple will implement their sleek contemporary designs into this future product. It is reasonable to assume that the introduction to VR in Apple would take on a role similar to Facebook’s “Metaverse” where individuals would be able to interact in an artificial universe using Memoji’s as potential Avatars. Not only that, VR could be a great marketing tool for Apple to showcase new products, conferences and offer simulations as a self-service which could see all new types of engagement and possibilities.
It is definitely anticipated that more customised machine learning will be more prominent in Apple’s product range, particularly with Apple Watch features and the upcoming iPhone 14 to boost ecosystem synchronisation and customised usability.
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