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Augmented Reality (AR)

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Augmented Reality (AR) is mixing real-world images with artificial ones in real time – sometimes also known as Mixed Reality. This contrasts with Virtual Reality (VR) where the entire image is artificial.

AR has been around for literally decades, but hasn’t yet become a mainstream technology. Google tried to change this with Project Tango, but this required special hardware and didn’t catch on. All this looks set to change, however, with Apple’s promotion of the technology.

Apple has released ARKit, a platform that allows developers to easily create augmented reality apps, and is expected to make this a major focus of the iPhone 8 launch. Google later switched to the same approach, with ARCore.

Although Tim Cook says that Apple is much more excited about AR than VR, Apple is not entirely ignoring the latter. High Sierra is the first version of macOS with support for VR, and Apple has said that it will integrate with Valve, so should be compatible with existing VR headsets like the HTC Vive.


Sketchy report says Apple AR-VR headset behind schedule

Apple AR VR headset

A sketchy report today says that the rumored Apple headset with combined AR-VR capabilities has fallen behind schedule. The report says supply-chain partners expected the device to move into a second phase of prototype testing last quarter, but this didn’t happen.

However, it’s unclear that much weight should be given to the claim …

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Accessible augmented reality tools unlock new experiences for art, education, retail, more

Creators are discovering new ways to tell immersive stories through augmented reality (AR). Driving the adoption of AR is a new generation of apps, tools, and technologies that democratize art creation and make virtual worlds instantly accessible to anyone. The evolution of AR from a novelty to an essential communication tool will unlock new experiences for artists, teachers, shoppers, travelers, students, and more.

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Mark Zuckerberg subtly criticizes Apple’s rumored AR and VR headset plans in new interview

As rumors of Apple’s plans to create AR and VR products intensify, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg joins The Information 411 podcast this week to talk about Facebook’s own interest in AR and VR. Zuckerberg made it through the interview without mentioning Apple by name — but the icy relationship between the two companies was clear in multiple comments from the Facebook CEO.

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As Apple AR headset rumors gain traction, Microsoft details the future of its HoloLens platform

As the Microsoft Ignite event kicked off today, the company took time to focus on its AR/VR efforts with the announcement of the Microsoft Mesh platform. The new mixed-reality software will work with the company’s hardware like the HoloLens 2 and more to offer collaborative virtual experiences and eventually “holoportation.” All of this comes as Apple could launch its first AR headset as soon as this year.

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Designer imagines how Apple’s VR/AR headset might look

How Apple’s VR:AR headset might look

We got some idea about how Apple’s VR/AR headset might look from a simple rendering based on a prototype seen by The Information. A designer has now used this as the basis of more realistic renders of the design.

The original cartoon-style drawing showed only a side view, but designer Antonio De Rosa has given us some ideas on how the rumored $3,000 headset might look from a variety of angles …

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Apple mixed-reality headset to have two 8K displays, cost $3,000 – The Information

Apple mixed reality headset render

A recent report suggested that an Apple mixed-reality headset would be the Mac Pro of VR devices, priced at a level where the company would only expect to sell one unit per day per Apple Store.

A new report today claims to have more specific details, including ultra-high-resolution 8K displays, and a price point somewhere around $3,000 …

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Apple’s first headset will be the Mac Pro of VR devices – Bloomberg

Apple's first headset will be VR not AR says Bloomberg

Almost all the reports to date on the headset project commonly dubbed Apple Glasses have pointed to an augmented reality (AR) device, rather than a virtual reality (VR) one. But a new Bloomberg report suggests that Apple’s first headset will primarily be a VR device, with limited AR capabilities. It goes on to suggest that it will be the Mac Pro of VR devices.

A VR focus would be surprising, as Apple CEO Tim Cook has repeatedly said that AR is of far greater interest to the company …

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Comment: iPhone-powered Apple Glasses seems to me the ideal approach

iPhone-powered Apple Glasses concept

Yesterday saw a new Kuo report which said that Apple plans to release its first AR device at some point this year. While it didn’t go into any detail, the analyst has previously suggested we can expect to see iPhone-powered Apple Glasses, at least for the first-generation of the company’s move into augmented reality.

Although there are pros and cons to having the iPhone do the heavy lifting, overall I think it’s an approach that makes sense …

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Here’s everything we know about Apple’s plans for an AR headset

Apple Glasses replace smartphone or not?

We’ve been hearing rumors about a new Apple augmented reality headset for years now, but it’s unclear when the company plans to introduce this product. Although some rumors had pointed to the launch in 2020, this has not happened — and now a new rumor suggests that Apple’s AR glasses are coming this year. Read on for our full breakdown of Apple’s AR device rumors.

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Adobe brings sophisticated AR creation to the Mac with Aero Desktop

Adobe today announced the inaugural release of Aero Desktop, the long-awaited AR creation companion to Aero on iOS and iPadOS. Aero is available today in public beta as part of Adobe MAX 2020, where Adobe announced significant updates to its entire ecosystem of apps like Photoshop, Premiere Pro, After Effects, Illustrator, and Fresco.

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Facebook AR glasses – prototype revealed, providing auditory superpowers

Facebook AR glasses prototype

We’re not expecting to see Apple Glasses before 2022 at the earliest, but we’ve now seen a prototype of one rival effort: Facebook AR glasses.

Interestingly, this prototype has no display and is entirely focused on an auditory experience. It’s part super-sophisticated hearing aid, part virtual reality device …

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Report: Apple TV+ to add augmented reality bonus content next year

As we close in on Apple TV+’s first year, the service is gradually growing its library of premium-brand original shows and movies, with Apple ordering dozens of series this year to start production as coronavirus restrictions ease.

Bloomberg reports that Apple is also planning to take TV+ into another dimension, with the addition of augmented reality content.

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Amazon's AR app gets major update

Amazon’s AR app lets you fill your home with virtual furniture

Augmented Reality (AR) is a great way to see how furniture and other products will look in your home, and Amazon’s AR app capabilities previously let you do that with one item at a time. Amazon’s iOS app is now getting a big update that will allow you to virtually place dozens of products in up to 100 different configurations …

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Report: Apple acquired Israeli AR company Camerai in early 2019 for ‘tens of millions’

Apple regularly acquires small companies and startups and we usually don’t hear anything about most of them. Tim Cook detailed that back in 2019 as the company was acquiring companies at a rate of one every two or three weeks. Now details have surfaced that Israeli AR and computer vision company Camerai was one of the small firms purchased by Apple in 2019.

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Patent describes how you could control Apple Glasses with your eyes

Control Apple Glasses with your eyes

There have been signs that Apple is making notable progress on its long-rumored Apple Glasses product, and a new patent application describes how you could control Apple Glasses with your eyes.

It’s not the first time Apple has described using eyes as an input mechanism. An earlier patent application described how tracking the direction in which you are looking could be used to video augmented reality experiences. This one is broader, however, with eye control playing a much bigger role …


Report: Apple’s lenses for new AR headset/glasses move to trial production, slightly thicker than normal glasses

Apple's interest in 802.11ay could be for Apple Glasses

Apple has allegedly seen some notable progress recently with its AR headset and Apple Glasses efforts. A new report from The Information says that the company’s semitransparent lenses, one of the most important components of the upcoming wearable devices have passed the prototyping stage and moved into trial production. Additionally, the report includes new details on the thickness of the lenses, integrated technology, and more.