VR

View a 100-inch virtual screen with ‘world’s first AR laptop’

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If you were really standing behind her, you wouldn't be able to see any of those tabs.
If you were really standing behind her, you wouldn't be able to see any of those tabs.
Photo: Sightful

With Apple apparently on the verge of releasing its first AR/VR headset at WWDC23, an Israeli startup called Sightful has unveiled Spacetop, which it calls “the world’s first augmented-reality laptop.”

Spacetop has no dedicated display. The user dons AR glasses to view tabs across a curved, 100-inch virtual space that no one else can see. You have to wonder if this practical step into AR is the right move at the right time — or too practical for its own good.

Zuckerberg says Apple and Meta are battling over the internet’s future

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Apple versus Meta
The CEO of Meta says his company and Apple are in a "competition of philosophies and ideas."
Photo: Cult of Mac

Both Apple and Meta (formerly Facebook) are both building AR/VR headsets, but they’re going about it in dramatically different ways. Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg reportedly told Meta employees the two companies are in “a competition of philosophies and ideas.”

It’s possible the metaverse is the future of the internet. And Zuckerberg describes Meta as being a leader in creating an open metaverse with multiple companies working together, while he says Apple is creating its own closed version.

But Zuckerberg’s comments ignore another major philosophical difference between the twin companies. Apple believes in protecting user privacy, but Meta makes its money by collecting and selling information about users.

Find your sole mate with Amazon AR shoe-shopping via iPhone

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Turns out you can try on shoes with your iPhone.
Turns out you can try on shoes with your iPhone.
Photo: Amazon

Amazon already had a try-before-you-buy program for Prime members, where you can send an article of clothing back after trying it at home. On Thursday it added Virtual Try-On, an augmented reality (AR) experience where you can try on shoes without ever touching them via iOS.

All you need it the Amazon app and an iPhone to see how a pair of kicks will look on your feet.

Apple spills ‘realityOS’ again as new AR/VR headset inches closer

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Apple realityOS leak
Apple continues to lay the groundwork for its first mixed reality device.
Image: Steve Troughton-Smith

Another reference to Apple’s unreleased “realityOS” operating system leaked Wednesday in new open source code. It suggests the company’s highly anticipated mixed-reality headset is inching closer to its public debut.

The headset could appear this year — perhaps at Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference — as many reports previously suggested. However, thanks to technical difficulties Apple recently encountered, we might have to wait until 2023.

Apple VR headset won’t create a full metaverse

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Don’t expect the Apple VR headset to be the first step in re-creating Ready Player One by delivering a full metaverse.
Don’t expect the Apple VR headset to be the first step in re-creating Ready Player One.
Photo: Warner Bros. Entertainment

While Apple is creating a VR headset, it’s reportedly not developing a complete virtual world for users. It plans on virtual reality games, video and other experiences. But these supposedly won‘t be connected into a single VR metaverse.

That sets it apart from Meta (formerly Facebook), which does hope to create a virtual world it controls.

Apple readies processor to power future VR headset

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A Apple VR headset is an Open secret, as demonstrated by a recent patent filing.
An illustration from a recent Apple patent filing shows a possible VR headset.
Graphic: Apple

Apple is almost ready to send the chip that’ll be at the heart of its virtual reality headset to production, according to an unconfirmed report. That’s a big step in the product reaching customers’ hands.

Apple augmented reality devices could help shape all future computers

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The eventual culmination of Apple augmented reality efforts will be AR contact lenses
Apple will eventually release augmented reality contact lenses, according to a trusted analyst.
Photo: Skitterphoto/Pexels CC/Cult of Mac

A respected Apple analyst just made a startling prediction about mixed reality/augmented reality: “We believe that MR/AR products could replace all display-equipped electronics in the long term,” wrote Ming-Chi Kuo in a note sent to investors Sunday.

Kuo said he expects Apple to play a big part in taking these emerging technologies mainstream. And he sees Cupertino making augmented reality contact lenses eventually, and a variety of AR products before then.

One more year: Apple’s VR headset could debut in early 2022

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Apple could take on the likes of Oculus with a VR headset as early as 2022.
Apple could take on the likes of Oculus with its debut VR headset.
Photo: Minh Pham/Unsplash CC

Apple’s debut virtual reality headset could arrive in the first quarter of 2022, JPMorgan Chase Securities tech analyst Yang Weilun claims in a new note to investors.

The report says Apple’s VR headset will supposedly boast six lenses, lidar and a time-of-flight sensor. It will allegedly retail for upward of $500.

Apple’s first VR headset could be an expensive disappointment

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Apple VR headset could look like Oculus Quest
Apple's first headset could be around the same size as Oculus Quest.
Photo: Oculus

Don’t expect too much from Apple’s first virtual reality headset. A new report warns that Cupertino’s first stab at a wearable VR system, which could come in 2022, will be expensive with a limited set of capabilities.

The device is believed to be designed primarily as a “niche precursor” to more ambitious AR/VR glasses that Apple plans to launch later.

Jony Ive reportedly clashed with Apple exec over forthcoming VR/AR headset

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Jony Ive
Jony Ive, who left Apple last year, reportedly had strong views on Apple's VR strategy.
Photo: Vanity Fair/YouTube

Apple’s VR and AR headset ambitions fueled a clash between Apple Technology Development Group executive Mike Rockwell and former design boss Jony Ive, who left Apple last year, a new Bloomberg report claims.

The article traces the development of an Apple VR and AR headset to late 2015. It claims Apple dedicated up to 1,000 engineers to work on a project aiming to be the first major new product since the Apple Watch. However, the project has been subject to disagreements about its direction.

Future Apple devices could be controlled with ultra-precise eye-tracking

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Eye closeup
Could this shed light on Apple's AR headset plans?
Photo: v2osk on Unsplash

Appropriately enough at a time we’re worried about touching any surface without immediately washing our hands, the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office has published an eye-tracking patent application from Apple describing a method of letting users control an interface with nothing more than a simple glance.

The application possibly sheds light on one of the features of Apple’s rumored head-mounted display for augmented and virtual reality.

Apple’s possible prototype controller for upcoming AR headset leaks out

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apple-ar-vr-headset-controller
No, this likely isn't the final version that will ship.
Photo: MacRumors

Apple is testing out its rumored AR/VR headset internally using a generic controller similar in design to that of the HTC Vive, a report published Thursday by MacRumors suggests.

The report notes that, “given the basic design of the controller,” it is likely for internal testing only. A finished version is likely to be a lot more, well, Apple in its design. However, it’s enough to let Apple engineers get to grips with the technology which might allow it to launch its rumored AR/VR headset in 2021 or 2022.

Apple proposes VR glove that lets you feel virtual textures

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Apple’s proposed VR glove
A proposed Apple VR glove lets you feel the virtual items you see.
Photo: Apple/Cult of Mac

Apple engineers laid the groundwork for a pair of gloves that would let users feel objects displayed by virtual reality or augmented reality.

The idea of gloves with haptic feedback isn’t new, but a newly-received patent shows Apple continues to put considerable research and development effort into cutting-edge VR and AR.

Popular VLC video player is getting AirPlay support

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VLC AirPlay
VLC will make it easy to stream to Apple TV from anywhere.
Photo: VideoLAN

CES 2019 bugPopular open-source video player VLC is getting AirPlay support “in about a month.” VideoLan, the team behind it, also plans to make it easier for users to switch to VLC from iTunes.

The confirmation comes just as VLC celebrated a staggering 3 billion downloads — around a quarter of which came from mobile devices.

Apple buys startup that builds AR headset displays

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Apple glasses
Apple AR glasses just became more likely.
Photo: Martin Hajek

Apple just dropped a big clue that it’s planning to make a pair of augmented reality glasses with its latest acquisition.

The company confirmed this week that it purchased a Colorado-based startup called Akonia that’s focused on making lenses for wearable headset displays and it could help Apple create thin, transparent smart glass lenses with vibrant full colors.

Popular YouTuber helps Apple develop in-car VR entertainment

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Mark Rober
Apple has some fascinating (if dangerous) research projects underway.
Photo: Mark Rober

Apple has recruited popular science YouTuber Mark Rober to work as part of its top secret special projects group, developing a VR on-board entertainment system for self-driving cars.

Rober has been working with Apple for the past several years, although he has kept news of Apple’s identity secret. In a Reddit AmA, he described it as a “large tech company in the Bay Area.” His name was revealed as part of several patent applications Apple has recently filed.

macOS Mojave adds support for HTC Vive Pro VR headset

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Mojave
macOS Mojave makes VR easier than ever on Mac.
Photo: Apple

Who says Macs can’t do virtual reality? When macOS Mojave rolls out this fall, it will include plug-and-play support for HTC’s latest Vive Pro VR headset.

Apple has been working closely with HTC and Valve to make this possible. Vive Pro support isn’t yet available with the first macOS Mojave beta, but it is expected to be made available to developers and testers in a future beta release.

Apple VR headset might sport two 8K displays

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VR
Will Apple be the company that finally makes VR cool?
Photo: Cult of Mac

Apple’s next big thing could be a virtual reality headset.

According to a new report, the iPhone-maker is planning to launch its own headset in 2020 that can handle both AR and VR technology. And in true Apple fashion, it’ll pack some innovations that could finally bring VR into the mainstream.

HP is now selling Apple devices

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The new 10.5-inch iPad Pro puts monstrous power at your fingertips.
Don't pay full price for a 10.5-inch iPad Pro.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

HP is now selling Apple devices through its Device as a Service (DaaS) program.

iPhone, iPad, and Mac devices join the existing catalog of Android and Windows options available to enterprise customers.

This tiny gadget brings 360-degree video shooting to iPhone

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Fishball 360-degree video lens
Fishball is all you need to shoot VR video on iPhone.
Photo: Fishball

Now that you can edit 360-degree video in Final Cut Pro, you might get the urge to shoot your very own immersive videos. The iPhone can’t do that all by itself (yet), but it can if you add this tiny gadget.

It’s called Fishball, and it’s the world’s first 360-degree lens for iPhone. All you have to do is clip it on and you’re good to go.

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

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Phil Schiller
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.