While Apple has been slow to adopt virtual reality in its gadgets (the company has virtually nothing on that front so far), there's a chance that the company might at least jump on the augmented reality bandwagon.

Business Insider, quoting a person familiar with the matter, says Apple plans to build AR features into the iPhone's camera app.

To achieve this, Apple is reportedly working with several AR startups, as well as teams from AR/VR companies Metaio and Flyby Media which it had acquired in 2015 and 2016, respectively.

In terms of features, this could mean pointing your phone's camera to an object in the real world and have it recognized — a feature that sounds similar to the one offered by AR startup Blippar. Another possible feature would be face recognition and manipulation; similar features can be seen today on Snapchat and Facebook-acquired Masquerade.

Once the features are built into the iPhone's camera, Apple plans to release an SDK so that third party developers can tap into the technology and create AR apps of their own.

No timeline for any of these features is mentioned in the report.

For a somewhat scary but amazingly well done vision of an augmented reality future, see video above.

The new report ties into a Bloomberg report from earlier this week, which claimed that Apple is looking to launch a type of smartglasses, but that product likely won't see the light of day before 2018.

Augmented reality has been a hot topic throughout 2016, mainly because of the surprising popularity of Niantic's AR game Pokemon Go, which has players visiting real-world locations to catch virtual creatures.

A number of app developers followed suit, indicating that the demand for AR content might grow in the future.

Source: Mashable