Apple stakes a claim over smart headsets

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VR headset
Is Apple about to dive deeper into AR?
Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac

Apple has updated its iCloud trademark to cover “smartglasses” and headsets.

The company has been on a mission to add new devices to many of its filings in recent months, but its latest update is particularly interesting following the introduction of ARKit at WWDC.

iOS 11 brings VR mode to Apple Maps using ARKit

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flyover mode in Apple Maps
Flyover is getting a major upgrade in iOS 11.
Photo: Apple

Ever wonder what it feels like to be a Godzilla-sized monster traipsing around the skyscrapers of New York City? Well, with iOS 11 now you can.

Apple has subtly added a cool new virtual reality mode in Apple Maps with the release of iOS 11 that lets users explore 3D models of some of the world’s most popular cities. The new feature is powered by Apple’s new ARKit, allowing you to walk around your house and tilt your phone camera around to visit different parts of the city.

Watch the crazy new feature in action:

Apple acquires German company that may hold key to AR future

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SensoMotoric Instruments
SensoMotoric Instruments eye-tracking glasses.
Photo: SensoMotoric Instruments

Apple may have just made a key acquisition that could help the company create a truly revolutionary augmented reality headset. According to a new report, German eye-tracking company SensoMotoric Instruments has been purchased by an Apple shell company, giving the iPhone-maker access the company’s trove of patents related to eye-tracking glasses and other systems.

Is Apple back to its best following WWDC 2017? [Friday Night Fights]

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Are you pleased with what you saw at WWDC 2017?
Are you pleased with what you saw at WWDC 2017?
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

This year’s WWDC keynote was an early Christmas for Apple fans. It delivered the big updates to iOS, macOS, and watchOS we were eagerly anticipating; a 10.5-inch iPad Pro; updated Macs with Intel Kaby Lake processors, plus nice surprises like the iMac Pro and HomePod.

Friday Night Fights bugBut is this Apple back at its best, or do we need more out of Cupertino? Are fancy software updates enough to breathe new life into boring hardware? Is Apple’s new push into virtual reality and machine learning too little, too late?

Join us in this week’s Friday Night Fight as we battle it out over a bumper WWDC!

Apple’s AR glasses won’t hit your face for at least a year

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iPhone 8 concept
Apple will give iPhone 8 owners a taste of augmented reality.
Photo: Gabor Balogh

The next big thing from Apple is probably a year or so away from its grand unveiling.

Apple has a host of engineers dedicated to building and testing different augmented reality headsets, and according to a new report, the crew is getting a lot more resources to turn it into a consumer product.

PowerVR graphics upgrade allows for 4K iPhone displays

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iphone-new
It also paves the way for iPhone VR.
Photo: Apple

Imagination Technologies, the company behind the PowerVR graphics technology used in iPhone and iPad, has unleashed its powerful new Furion architecture.

It’s the first major upgrade since the introduction of Rogue, the architecture currently used in iPhone 7, and it’s capable of powering 4K smartphone and tablet displays with four times the resolution of 1080p.

Oculus has no plans to bring VR to the Mac anytime soon

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Alex Heath gets down in the Oculus booth. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac
You still can't use the Oculus Rift on Mac.
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Mac users hoping to jump into the world of virtual reality will have to wait even longer than expected.

Oculus co-founder Nate Mitchell revealed in a recent interview that the company currently has no plans to bring Rift support to the Mac. Even though Mitchell himself is a MacBook Pro user, he says Apple’s machines don’t have the resources to deliver a premium experience