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Apple TV+ could soon offer bonus AR content to boost subscriptions

Apple’s streaming service, TV+ hasn’t performed as well as the company had hoped, and it’s now leaving no stone unturned to lure more subscribers. For its next trick, Bloomberg reports, Apple could bring interactive, augmented reality content for its original TV shows.

Apple is reportedly developing a new feature for TV+ that will let you superimpose characters or objects from select shows into your surroundings through your iPhone or iPad camera. For instance, while watching the show, For All Mankind, Apple might offer an option to project a virtual lunar rover in front of you via augmented reality.

While originally slated to arrive later this year, sources tell Bloomberg Apple could debut bonus augmented reality content for shows sometime in 2021.

We’ve reached out to Apple for confirmation and we’ll update the story when we hear back.

Augmented reality has been a key focus area for Apple and therefore, it makes sense for the company to incorporate it into its services as well. Apple has built special lidar sensors into the latest iPads for better augmented reality experiences and they’re expected to be one of the highlights of the next line of iPhones. It’s also said to be working on a smart, mixed reality headset that could launch by 2022.

In addition, AR isn’t the only interactive content Apple may be planning for TV+. An earlier Bloomberg report claimed the Cupertino, California-based company will soon also release original podcasts that will feature bonus commentary and behind-the-scenes tidbits. Further, it’s developing a series of new subscription plans called Apple One for offering services such as Apple News and Apple Music in bundles at a lower monthly price.

Whether these moves enable Apple to better rival its competitors remains to be seen. Earlier this year, veteran analyst, Toni Sacconaghi said Apple TV+ may be “failing to resonate with customers.”

Apple isn’t the first video streaming host that has turned to interactive content for drawing interest. Netflix is actively investing in choose-your-own-adventure style shows that allow you to pick from multiple narratives and decide the characters’ fates.

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