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Apple's Next Big Thing: Augmented Reality (bloomberg.com) 94

Apple is beefing up its staff with acquisitions and some big hires to help design augmented reality glasses and iPhone features, according to Bloomberg. From a report: Apple is working on "digital spectacles" that could connect to an iPhone and beam content like movies and maps, Bloomberg's Mark Gurman reported on Monday. The Cupertino, Calif.- based company is also working on augmented reality features for the iPhone that are similar to Snapchat, Bloomberg said. To make its augmented reality push, Apple has acquired augmented reality start-ups FlyBy Media and Metaio, and hired major players from Amazon, Facebook's Oculus, Microsoft's HoloLens, and Dolby.
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Apple's Next Big Thing: Augmented Reality

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  • Meh (Score:3, Insightful)

    by scunc ( 4201789 ) on Monday March 20, 2017 @01:51PM (#54075899)
    I don't care what their plans are for augmented reality when their actual reality doesn't even support using a headphone jack.
    • Here's the only reality I need Cook to worry about getting right:

      #import <Cocoa/Cocoa.h>

      int main(int argc, const char * argv[]) {

      NSDecimalNumber *oneish =
      [NSDecimalNumber decimalNumberWithString:@"1.1111111111111111111"];

      NSInteger two = 3 - [oneish intValue];
      NSInteger othertwo = 3 - [oneish integerValue];

      NSLog(@"2 + 2 = %ld", two + othertwo);

      return 0;

      }

    • Headphone jack ships via adapter sold with every single iPhone7.

      if you don't know that by now... Apple Haters have to be the stupidest and most ignorant people on the planet.

      Just how stupid? Apparently this person thinks you need a headphone jack to connect Augmented Reality glasses.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        Seriously dude, Steve is dead. You can stop sucking him off.

      • Apple has transformed from a market leader to a follower or as Steve just to say toner heads. I think this is why so many people are disappointed.
      • Headphone jack ships via adapter sold with every single iPhone7.

        And they make the coolest adapters... [youtube.com]

      • How do you plug it into an Aux port and keep it charged at the same time without spending even more money for an easily lost adapter?

        • H9w the hell do you "easily lose" a dock? Do you also lose your car all the time?
          • A dock? Why should I have to buy that or an adapter which is what I was talking about? I'm going to save my money by keeping my 6s for a few years. Maybe Apple will have pulled their heads out of their arses and added the socket back by the time I need to replace it. If not then it's back to Android.

            • IOW you do lose your car on a regular basis. Thanks for the confirmation.
              • What the fuck are you talking about? Of course I don't lose my car. Exactly how big is this unnecessary dock and what advantage would owning it and an iPhone 7 give me over owning a 6s with a headphone jack? You fucking fanbois are insane. If Apple made a phone you had to stick up your arse to use, you'd be first in line for the fucking lube and you'd be all over the internet shitting on people for objecting.

  • by 110010001000 ( 697113 ) on Monday March 20, 2017 @01:52PM (#54075919) Homepage Journal
    I knew the industry would abandon VR and focus on AR. VR will never work due to how it creates motion sickness in most people. Please note: I didn't say it creates motion sickness in the special snowflakes here on Slashdot, or any of the tons of people they know. I mean most people. So put down that pen and stop writing that angry letter to me.
    • Re:I knew it (Score:5, Insightful)

      by killfixx ( 148785 ) * on Monday March 20, 2017 @02:03PM (#54076053) Journal

      AR was always going to be the "Next Big Thing". VR is a fun, limited-use-case solution looking for a problem. AR keeps the user productive. AR keeps the user engaged in the world around him/her.

      • by faedle ( 114018 )

        You've obviously never seen a Pokemon GO or Ingress player fumbling through a crowded place eyes glued to their handset.

      • AR was always going to be the "Next Big Thing". VR is a fun, limited-use-case solution looking for a problem. AR keeps the user productive. AR keeps the user engaged in the world around him/her.

        I would think the ultimate trend will be convergence. AR glasses with a wide field of view, that can completely block out the environment if you wish.

      • Re:I knew it (Score:4, Interesting)

        by Dracolytch ( 714699 ) on Monday March 20, 2017 @07:58PM (#54078851) Homepage

        As a VR/AR researcher, I have to disagree. The two are similar technologies, but they have fundamentally different use cases. VR isn't "looking for a problem", the problems are all around. Any area where you want to do fully-immersive experiential training, for example (shock/trauma training on board a Navy vessel / Basic firearms training with any weapon and no risk of injury / cyber visualizations where traditional rules of distance don't always apply). In those cases, VR can often make more sense than AR (where sunlight, clutter, or room geometry may degrade the experience).

        Is AR a superset of VR? From a technical standpoint, you could make that claim, but from a design standpoint, that's like saying a heads-up display is a superset of a television. Maybe true, but they're not really used for the same things.

        The fact that AR is less likely to make someone motion sick is a great benefit to AR, but it also belies one of the underlying shortcomings as well: AR is not as fully as immersive as VR is right now (The degree of immersion in commodity hardware with a good room configuration is startling). It's unclear if AR ever will be, and if it is, will it just be because it blocks out the real-world?

        Consider this:
        If you're locally piloting a robot, AR is often more convenient because you can be aware of the robot in the context of your current surroundings. However, when remotely piloting a robot, it's often preferable to get the increased situational awareness from the robot's perspective.

        Humans can only pay attention to so many things. Ultimately, it comes down to the design and purpose of communication.

    • by RatBastard ( 949 )

      My Vive doesn't give me motion sickness. My PlayStation VR is puke city in three minutes or less. :(

    • by faedle ( 114018 )

      I've logged hours, in one sitting, on Cardboard-based and Oculus-based VR systems. Cardboard does have a bit of a lag on some phones (performance isn't that great on my Galaxy S4, for example), but on a Pixel it's just fine. And Oculus is pretty smooth as well in both its Samsung phone-based iteration and the stand-alone PC-based hardware. By in large the motion sickness problems have been solved by a combination of high refresh rates, very sensitive positional data, and "blurring on movement".

    • by rtb61 ( 674572 )

      VR is troublesome in terms of head motions and screen motions but of course if you take the motion out and just go with a fixed view, is becomes the cheapest way to provide a massive screen in terms of viewer viewpoint. So glasses done properly at an optometrist to minimise size, no adjustable lenses, just user specific fit, it hugely expands the use of smart phones. Augmented reality is a part of that, low process, see through the glasses, high process, cameras mounted on the glasses that present an extern

  • Are we talking iphone 17% of global market share after 10 years of hype big thing, or the flop that is "Apple Watch" big thing?
    • or the flop that is "Apple Watch" big thing?

      Apple is second only to Rolex [wornandwound.com] in sales.

      So even that is not a "flop".

      It's actually a much bigger thing than you are giving it credit for. Yet another person blindsided by Apple's approach to incremental success; in just a year or two even people such as yourself will be unable to ignore the obvious success Apple is having.

  • They took the headphone jack from the iPhone, next will be the home button, and the arrow of keys from the keyboards....
    What will be next, virtual reality without the graphics?
    Amazing...
  • by mindwhip ( 894744 ) on Monday March 20, 2017 @02:02PM (#54076033)

    Apple's next big thing is basically a white walled garden rehash of Google's old things? (Google Glass/Phone VR)

  • Apple could hire that burnt-out bar tart Kellyanne Conway to run the program.
  • The first company to bring anime-style virtual waifus to nerds will dominate the market.

    Bonus points if you establish partnerships with companies to license already-existing characters.

  • I find it interesting that Apple's next big corporate direction may have been inspired by Pokemon Go.
  • Apple lived for a while in a augmented reality!
  • AR with what? Phones? Maybe. Their desktops? Please. The GPUs in their desktops are garbage. Even the ones in the Mac Pros. I was a Mac user for ten years (sold my 2012 Mac Pro last month) and I I have always been disappointed by their choice of graphics chips.

  • I thought there was already a plentiful supply of augmented reality.
  • No innovation left uncopied.

    Surprised they're not already calling it "iGlass" ! may be "iSpectacle"?

  • show me (Score:2, Insightful)

    This news would have been really interesting were Jobs at the helm because he'd established a track record for nearly perfect execution and you could bank on that the final product would be polished. Apple has done nothing in the Cook era to suggest that we can rely on that any more. That said it would be nice if Apple put out something novel.

  • Remember TVs labelled as HD-compatible even though they had displays with native resolutions of 720x600?....or gyroscopically stabilized wheeled boards being misadvertised as "hoverboards" even though they can't actually hover at all?.
    Next up will be the abuse of the term "Augmented Reality" to mean the display of anything/everything on a transparent HMD (such as notice of incoming texts etc), even though it has absolutely no relevance to your current physical environment.

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