Apple's new augmented reality exec shows how important the tech is

It's bigger than just animoji or Pokemon Go.

Bloomberg points out that an executive formerly in charge of iPhone marketing for carriers, Frank Casanova, has a new title: "Senior Director, Worldwide Product Marketing at Apple Augmented Reality." While Google is dipping its toe into using AR to enhance Google Maps, Apple also has major plans for the technology that could impact its rollout of future iPhones and iPads.

In a world where profits from iPhones, iPads and Watches may have already peaked, adding the flair of reality-enhancing features could encourage people to upgrade their phones earlier, if not buy all-new hardware like headsets. Over the last couple of years Apple has tipped its vision of AR as something made for use in a shared world with people operating virtual objects as easily as real ones via ARKit-powered experiences.

While LG is promising a front-facing "time of flight" camera in its next flagship phone that could enhance AR, the latest rumor from Bloomberg suggests a similar laser-assisted approach could come to the iPhone's rear-facing cameras by 2020.

Putting someone like Casanova in place now is a hint at the importance of AR going forward. Stuff like Pokémon Go or simple face filters are just the beginning, once things go all Dennou Coil it will just be another battlefield for tech giants, and Apple is already preparing.