iOS 12.2 may limit access to the accelerometer, gyroscope on the iPhone, iPad, iPod touch

Advertising agency employees who work on augmented reality and virtual reality are worried that Apple “is about to upend web-based AR and VR,” according to DigiDay.

The tech giant is apparently going to make it more difficult for sites to track iPhones’ and iPads’ motions and orientations in order to power web-based AR and VR experiences. According to a document published to Apple’s developer site, iOS 12.2, will add a setting that will enable people using its mobile Safari browser to prevent sites from being able to access an iPhone or iPad’s accelerometer and gyroscope in order to track the device’s motion and orientation.

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By requiring folks to enable the setting for an AR or VR experience to work, “it will introduce an extra step that could put up enough of a roadblock, especially for ads that incorporate AR, VR or 360-degree video where a person would be less incentivized to enable the setting,” according to DigiDay.

AppleInsider says the change may be in response to a Wired report last year which noted that thousands of sites were able to track motion data without permission.

The iOS update will add a Motion & Orientation Access toggle under Settings > Safari > Privacy & Security. Turned off by default, users will have to enable it on their iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch in order for websites to display features that rely on motion data from the gyroscope and accelerometer on the devices.