Facebook boxes out Apple on AR displays

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Plessy
Plessy has been at the forefront of micro LED display development.
Photo: Plessy

Apple’s long-rumored augmented reality glasses project may have suffered a serious setback thanks to Facebook.

The social network company reportedly reached a licensing deal with Plessey, a British firm that makes displays specifically for augmented reality displays. Apple supposedly was looking into acquiring Plessey. But Facebook rushed in and struck an exclusive supply deal with the company, effectively shutting out Cupertino.

Apple’s ARKit 3.5 offers augmented reality enhanced wih LiDAR 3D mapping

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ARKit 3.5 offers improved people occlusion with its LiDAR 3D scanner.
ARKit 3.5 does a better of job of mixing people and virtual objects in augmented reality apps.
Photo: Apple

ARKit 3.5, the new version of Apple’s augmented reality software, can capture a 3D representation of the world in real time. This feature employs the LiDAR scanner that’s already in the 2020 Pad Pro and expected in some of this autumn’s iPhone models.

And the version of ARKit that debuted yesterday in iOS 13.4 is better at allowing virtual objects to pass in front of and behind people in the scene.

Apple AR tech will bring Alabama civil rights history to life

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Apple CEO Tim Cook at the launch of Ed Farm in Birmingham.
Apple CEO Tim Cook attended the debut of Ed Farm, an educational initiative in Alabama.
Photo: Tim Cook/Apple

In Birmingham today, Apple CEO Tim Cook announced Ed Farm, which will help teach students to program with Apple’s “Everyone Can Code” curriculum.

In addition, Cook  reportedly spoke about employing his company’s augmented reality tools in Birmingham’s civil rights historical sites.

You’ll be shopping in AR soon, thanks to Apple

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Apple AR Quick Look is augmented reality shopping
Apple’s AR Quick Look lets you see how this unique speaker, and other products, would look in your home.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Retailers that advertise with Apple’s AR Quick Look now have the option to add a “buy now” button directly in the augmented reality experience. Before this, shoppers could only look at items superimposed onto the real world.

This is just the latest part of Apple’s growing embrace of augmented reality.

2020 is the year Apple gets serious about augmented reality

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Apple augmented reality has business potential
Hardware changes in the 2020 iPad and iPhone could noticeably improve augmented reality’s usefulness.
Photo: Apple

Apple CEO Tim Cook called augmented reality “the next big thing” this week. But he kept quiet about his company’s specific plans for this emerging technology. So Cult of Mac reached out to industry analysts, who predict that this year’s iPhone and iPad will come with AR equipment built in. And, for the future, they’re optimistic about Apple’s rumored AR glasses.

Apple said to be working with Valve on first AR headset

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Valve-Index-headset
Valve already knows how to make headsets.
Photo: Valve

Apple is reportedly partnering with Valve, the company behind Steam, to develop its first augmented reality headset. Valve already offers a virtual reality headset of its own for gaming. But its work with Apple is said to be focused on AR, which Cupertino thinks will play an increasingly important role in the future.

Apple AR is already here, and you’re probably wearing it right now [Opinion]

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Apple AR already surrounds us.
Apple’s AR already surrounds us.
Photo: Drew Graham/Unsplash

“Apple is all-in on augmented reality. But where will it lead?” That’s a pretty standard view of Apple’s experiments with visual AR, aka overlaying virtual objects onto the real world, via the iPhone’s camera and screen.

But Apple is already providing a fully immersive AR overlay onto the real world, to millions of users — only it isn’t using a screen. AirPods are augmented reality. They are also a part of a new computing paradigm that Apple snuck into the world without telling anybody. This paradigm currently consists of AirPods, iPhone, Apple Watch and the HomePod. And it is as discreet and low-key as it is important.

Facebook eyes 2023 launch for smart glasses project

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Facebook messaging apps
Zuckerberg has reportedly asked that the project be made a priority.
Photo: Facebook

Apple’s long-rumored AR glasses project could get some competition from the world’s biggest social network company.

Facebook is reportedly developing its own augmented reality glasses. The social network recently struck a partnership with Ray-Ban parent company Luxottica to speed the product along, according to a new report.

How Apple will spark an AR boom [Cult of Mac Magazine 313]

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Apple's deep investment in augmented reality looks set to pay off.
Apple's deep investment in augmented reality looks set to pay off.
Cover: Leander Kahney/Cult of Mac

Apple’s long bet on augmented reality is about to pay off. Thanks to new tools for developers, and hardware that can handle the advanced apps they create, an AR revolution is in the offing.

Find out how Apple will spark the AR boom in this week’s free issue of Cult of Mac Magazine. Download it now for iOS, or see the top stories below in your browser.

This is the start of a whole new era for Apple augmented reality

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Apple Park ARKit
Apple's augmented reality journey is just getting started.
Photo: Nobuyuki Hiyashi

When Apple introduced ARKit in 2017, the augmented reality platform was hailed as a game-changer. Two years later, Apple’s AR push looks ready to deliver the type of experience that gets CEO Tim Cook so excited he wants to scream.

Thanks to a trio of new augmented reality tools for iOS 13, and the very real possibility of an Apple AR headset on the horizon, 2019 promises to be the start of something truly special for Apple’s augmented reality efforts.