Secret meetings provide further proof Apple is eyeing AR glasses

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glasses
Apple hasn't given up on AR glasses.
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Apple reportedly met with the suppliers of augmented reality glasses components at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this week.

The company made a significant push into AR with the launch of its ARKit framework in iOS 11, while rumors surrounding its own wearable AR hardware have been circling for years.

Top tech trends of 2017

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top tech trends 2017
2017 was a great year for consumer technology.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Cult of Mac's 2017 Apple year in review2017 was an exciting year for consumer technology. It brought us big advancements in areas like machine learning and biometric security, as well as a big boost for augmented reality, and some not-so-satisfying changes to smartphone price tags.

Here are the top technology trends of 2017.

Phil Schiller says all of Face ID’s competitors ‘stink’

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Phil Schiller answers some of our biggest questions about Apple products.
Phil Schiller says iPhone X will dictate the direction of smartphones for the next decade.
Photo: Apple

Apple marketing guru Phil Schiller has heard the haters saying the iPhone X wasn’t the first smartphone to get facial recognition. But according to Schiller, that doesn’t matter at all.

“They all stink,” says Schiller in a new interview discussing Apple’s new facial recognition feature. The wide-ranging interview touches on everything from AirPods to virtual reality, but what sets Face ID apart is what got Schiller the most excited.

This is how the iPhone X’s Face ID views your face

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face mesh
What kind of face is Killian trying to pull here?
Photo: Killian Bell/Cult of Mac

Did you ever wonder how Face ID sees you? After all, it has an incredibly complex set of eyes that project invisible dots onto your face, and then turns the results into a 3D representation of your head. If you want to know what that representation might look like, then check out the new Face Mesh tool in the latest update to MeasureKit, the AR measuring app.

Apple supplier eyes AR glasses

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Face Id
Are Apple Glasses coming soon?
Photo: Apple

One of the key suppliers for the iPhone X is fueling speculation that Apple is working on a standalone augmented reality product.

Catcher Tech, which makes metal casings for Apple products like the iPhone, iPad and MacBooks says that it is planning to start making metal components for AR products.

7 biggest takeaways from Apple’s record Q4 earnings

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Will Apple reach its own targets for Q2?
AAPL shares are on the rise.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Apple surprised investors with its best Q4 earnings report ever today. The outrageous numbers dispelled doubts about the iPhone-maker’s strategy — and pushed Apple closer to becoming the world’s first trillion-dollar company.

With the launch of the iPhone X just hours away, Apple CEO Tim Cook had a lot to be happy about during the earnings call with investors. Analysts quizzed Cook and Apple CFO Luca Maestri on everything from iPhone 8 sales to how Apple plans to monetize its augmented reality efforts.

Here’s what we found out:

Tim Cook geeks out on AR during Oxford demo

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iPhone 8 Plus
Augmented Reality on the iPhone 8 Plus is a taste of the future.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Apple CEO Tim Cook is a full-on geek when it comes to augmented reality.

Cook has raved about AR’s potential in a number of interviews the last year, but according to a PhD student at the University of Oxford, Tim actually has a great understanding of the technology. In a story shared on Reddit, the student reveals how Tim Cook dug deep into the details of the tech during a recent demo.

The new HomeKit abilities you need to know about, this week on The CultCast

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HomeKit devices
The Home app and HomeKit just got turbocharged.
Photo: Apple

This week on The CultCast: Live in the home of the future, today! We’ll tell you how with iOS 11’s huge improvements in the Home app and HomeKit. Plus: There’s a new Apple ID phishing scam you need to know about; there’s been a disappointing development with Apple’s AR glasses; we have to talk about the hundreds of new emoji coming at you in iOS 11.1; and we’ve got a svelte iPhone 8 case, a MacBook Pro sleeve made from real sheep, and a new power brick that’ll charge your MacBook, iPhone, Nintendo Switch — everything!— in an all-new Under Review.

ARKit downloads dominated by games so far

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ARgames
AR games account for the majority of app downloads and revenue made.
Photo: Sensor Tower

Titanium pens, aquarium robots and more [Crowdfund Roundup]

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The Model A
The ultimate universal VR headset.
Photo: The Model A

Crowdfund Roundup bugThe Model A is the first universal virtual reality headset for your smartphone that you won’t want to ditch within hours of buying it. It’s designed to be lightweight and comfortable to wear, and has a high-fidelity audio system built right in.

It’s just one of the awesome ideas in this week’s Crowdfund Roundup. We also have the world’s best pen machined out of titanium, a gadget that keeps all your devices secure online, the ultimate camping companion, and more!