Update: Apple removed the job listings, but we have screenshots below.
Following our discovery that Apple was looking to hire app engineers to build virtual reality experiences, new job listings give us more insight into its interest in building VR gaming experiences and “cinematic user interfaces” for future Apple products.
Having recently speculated on what Apple might have planned in the way of 4K displays, I thought I’d build on that to think about what it might have in store on the television front.
If you didn’t read my 4K piece, the tl;dr version is I think Apple will launch a 4K Thunderbolt Display in about a year’s time, once it has a new generation of MacBook Pro models able to drive one (or preferably two) at a decent frame-rate.
The question then is: what form might the long-rumored Apple Television take? After all, plug an upgraded Apple TV box into an Apple 4K display and you’d have an Apple Television right there. Why would we need anything more … ?
True new innovations in the technology space only come around every few years, and even rarer are the innovations that have the power to change our day-to-day interactions with our devices. That’s why I was excited when I first heard about the Leap Motion, a little motion control device that promised to alter how we think of using computers. One year since the initial preview, the device is in the hands of the public, and now it’s up to the people to decide if it can change the way we use our computers. Does it live up to its expectations? Read on to find out:
One of the investors backing Leap Motion, the company behind the 3D gesture control hardware coming out on July 22, today announced a new $25 million fund to support the development of third-party apps for the platform (via CNET):
The Leap Fund was designed so that HCP can invest in promising technologies and companies utilizing Leap Motion’s technology. Given that that technology has obvious applications across a wide range of industries, from gaming to medical to architecture and beyond, it’s easy to imagine any number of potential investments for the fund. Highland also plans on offering mentorship and other advice to those receiving money through the Leap Fund, and Leap Motion and Highland together plan to be involved in “joint community activities to help foster innovation and entrepreneurship around Leap Motion’s technology platform,” they said in a release.
We went hands on with the Leap Motion controller a couple times already and we were quite looking forward to the potential for gesture controlled apps that it offers devs. Back in February the company announced that it would be ready to ship the device by May 19 with pre-orders available through BestBuy, but today Leap Motion announced its gesture controller would be pushed back over two months until July 22nd.
Leap said the decision behind the delay is to allow more time for testing (via TNW):
“There’s nothing catastrophically wrong,” Buckwald added, “we’re very proud of the product…if we’d tried very hard we would have been able to ship the product [at the original time] but we wouldn’t have had the time to do the iteration and testing that we would want to do otherwise.”
CEO Michael Buckwald will apparently be sending out the following letter to preorder customers later today and answering questions in a Google Hangout tomorrow:
I wanted to reach out to update you on the status of our ship date. After a lot of consideration, we’ve decided to push back the date and will now be shipping units to pre-order customers on July 22nd.
This is not a decision we take lightly. There are hundreds of thousands of people in over 150 countries who have pre-ordered Leap devices, some as long as a year ago. These people are part of our community and there is nothing more important to us than getting them devices as quickly as possible.
We’ve made a lot of progress. When we first started taking orders back in May we were twelve (very tired) people in a basement. Now we are eighty (although still tired and possibly still in a basement). We’ve manufactured over six hundred thousand devices and delivered twelve thousand Leaps to amazing developers who are building applications that let people do things that just wouldn’t have been possible before. These developers have given us great feedback that we’ve used to make huge improvements to the stability and polish of the product. We’re really proud of Leap as both a company and a product.
The reality is we very likely could have hit the original ship date. But it wouldn’t have left time for comprehensive testing. This will come in the form of a beta test that will start in June. We will give the 12k developers who currently have Leap devices access to the feature complete product including OS interaction (today developers only have access to the SDK). We will also invite some people who are not developers to join the beta test.
Ultimately, the only way we felt 100% confident we could deliver a truly magical product that would do justice to this new form of interaction, was to push the date so we would have more time for a larger, more diverse beta test.
I really appreciate your patience. I know it’s been a long wait. Everyone that works at Leap is working tirelessly to make sure that wait is worth it. Thanks so much for your help and support.