Cook Hints Apple’s First realityOS Glasses Will Be AR, not VR

Despite speculation that Apple will debut a realityOS (rOS) headset next year, CEO Tim Cook says the metaverse is not yet ready for prime time, telling a European publication he’s “really not sure the average person can tell you what the metaverse is.” On a continental excursion that included a commencement address at the University of Naples Federico II in Italy, Cook appeared bullish on augmented reality, while downplaying virtual reality, the technology around which Meta Platforms is building its future. “I think AR is a profound technology that will affect everything,” Cook told the magazine Bright. Continue reading Cook Hints Apple’s First realityOS Glasses Will Be AR, not VR

Nreal Debuts Air AR Glasses for Android, PC and Soon Apple

A year after debuting in partnership with Verizon its $599 Nreal Light AR glasses in the U.S., Beijing-based Nreal is releasing the sportier Air AR glasses on Amazon. The $379 price is about $100 less than Air ARs were going for in Asia. The company is also upgrading its Nebula AR OS for augmented reality, including a version for Apple mobile, albeit only those powered by Apple silicon (M1 and M2 chips). In other words, newer iPhones and MacBook Pro and MacBook Air laptops. The Apple and Android/PC visual presentations will be different, at least initially. Continue reading Nreal Debuts Air AR Glasses for Android, PC and Soon Apple

Zuckerberg Says New Meta VR Headset Launching in October

Mark Zuckerberg has confirmed that Meta Platforms will in October debut the mixed reality headset the company has been developing under the codename Project Cambria. Appearing on Spotify’s “The Joe Rogan Experience” podcast last week, Zuckerberg said the new headset will have outward facing cameras capable of porting the outside world into the VR experience. With improved facial tracking to transpose smiles and frowns and the ability to convey “actual eye contact” between avatars, Zuckerberg said the new device will enhance the experience of “social presence.” Continue reading Zuckerberg Says New Meta VR Headset Launching in October

Nvidia and Stanford Develop Downsized Holographic Glasses

Engineers at Nvidia have teamed with Stanford University researchers to develop a virtual reality headset that looks and feels more like a regular pair of eyeglasses, according to a research paper presented at SIGGRAPH 2022. The “Holographic Glasses” can depict scenes in full-color 3D holographic images using optical lenses that are just 2.5mm thick. The so-called “pancake lenses” not only have a slimmer profile, but also offer a 200-degree field of view and the potential for resolution that is virtually unlimited and can be “cranked up” at will. Continue reading Nvidia and Stanford Develop Downsized Holographic Glasses

Apple realityOS Headset Reportedly on Deck for 2023 Release

Buzz is heating up on Apple’s new mixed reality headset, with the company reportedly securing “Iron Man” director Jon Favreau to create content for the new platform that brings to life the dinosaurs from “Prehistoric Planet,” the Apple TV+ documentary on which he served as executive producer. The headset, anticipated for 2023 release, is expected to offer both virtual- and augmented-reality experiences, and will run realityOS, or rOS software. Details broke on the eve of Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference, June 6-10, but has not been announced during WWDC. The device will position Apple to compete with Meta, Microsoft and soon Google in the AR/VR space. Continue reading Apple realityOS Headset Reportedly on Deck for 2023 Release

Qualcomm Announces Wireless AR Glasses Design for OEMs

Qualcomm has revealed a new plan for AR glasses that can connect wirelessly with smartphones. This latest version of the company’s Smart Viewer is a reference design that can be used by manufacturers to create commercial headsets and is aimed at creating “immersive experiences that unlock the metaverse,” the company says. The new Wireless AR Smart Viewer has a higher-powered chipset and offers Wi-Fi 6/6E and Bluetooth tethering instead of a USB-C cable. Developed by Chinese manufacturing company Goertek, the new Smart Viewer is currently being made available to handful of Qualcomm’s manufacturing partners. Continue reading Qualcomm Announces Wireless AR Glasses Design for OEMs

Nimo Planet Smart Glasses Target Productivity During Travel

Nimo Planet is garnering buzz for its entry in the smart glasses field. Designed for productivity, the $799 Nimo mixed reality eyewear is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon XR1 processor that has been described as turning the spectacles into “a mini-computer that sits on your head.” Relatively light at 120 grams, the lenses can display up to six 720p screens, suggesting it as a potential laptop replacement for traveling workers. The frame arms feature touch support and support voice commands. The glasses aren’t designed for intensive apps like Adobe Photoshop, but for basic productivity like word processing and project management. Continue reading Nimo Planet Smart Glasses Target Productivity During Travel

Magic Leap 2 Lighter with Better Field of View Than Original

Announced in 2019, the Magic Leap 2 augmented reality headsets are now being demoed for reviewers, with a commercial launch set for later this year. In 2020 the company shelved consumer plans to focus on enterprise clients in areas like healthcare, manufacturing and defense, where it will compete against Microsoft’s HoloLens. Offering a significantly improved field of view compared to the original 2018 Magic Leap, the new Magic Leap 2 is also lighter and more powerful than its predecessor. The new goggles are wired to a disc-shaped processor that must be carried or clipped on for mobility. Continue reading Magic Leap 2 Lighter with Better Field of View Than Original

Meta Hypes Numerous Benefits of Metaverse for Advertising

Meta Platforms’ Vishal Shah told attendees of the Interactive Advertising Bureau’s annual leadership meeting that the brave new virtual world his company is conjuring will offer vast opportunities for marketing and promotion without the physical constraints of real estate leases, supply chain snags and geographic inconvenience. Appearing virtually, Shah revved the engines at “The Road to the Metaverse” tour, promising brands an exciting ride, albeit one that may take 10 years to hit cruising speed. Meta is stepping on the gas to get there, investing $11 billion in its Reality Labs VR unit last year.  Continue reading Meta Hypes Numerous Benefits of Metaverse for Advertising

Microsoft CEO Nadella Details His Vision of Metaverse-for-All

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella thinks the metaverse will be transformative. “Just like the first wave of the Internet allowed everybody to build a website, I think the next wave of the Internet will be a more open world where people can build their own metaverse worlds, whether they’re organizations or game developers or anyone else,” Nadella told analysts on an earnings call last week. The remarks follow Nadella’s January 18 statement that Microsoft’s $69 billion bid for Activision Blizzard “will provide building blocks for the metaverse.” Microsoft expects the deal to close in fiscal 2023, which begins July 1. Continue reading Microsoft CEO Nadella Details His Vision of Metaverse-for-All

Google Quietly Developing Cloud-Based Android AR Goggles

Meta has a VR megaphone; Apple has been working on an AR headset; and Microsoft wants the best of both worlds, with its mixed reality HoloLens and headset-agnostic Xbox game platform. But observers say don’t count Google out. The search giant is reportedly ramping up its headset efforts under the codename Project Iris with a release target of 2024. As with HoloLens and, experimentally as of last summer, Passthrough API-enabled Oculus Quest 2 headsets, Google’s device-in-progress is said to use an outward-facing camera to provide a real-world backdrop for digital images. Continue reading Google Quietly Developing Cloud-Based Android AR Goggles

Apple’s Next Major Product Could Involve Augmented Reality

Next year, Apple is expected to unveil a glasses-like wearable that will be its big follow-up to the iPhone. This headset is expected to offer layers of information, objects and data spread to augment reality. Although Apple has remained mum on its plans for smart glasses, CEO Tim Cook is not shy about referencing AR and its “critically important” role in the company’s future, in September describing himself to a YouTube influencer as “AR fan #1,” and in a separate interview calling augmented reality one of the “very few profound technologies.” Continue reading Apple’s Next Major Product Could Involve Augmented Reality

The Sundance Film Festival Advances Tech for Hybrid Model

The Sundance Film Festival is returning to Park City, Utah in January after holding its last annual event entirely online. The 2022 Festival will introduce a new hybrid format that will expand The Spaceship, a virtual venue of the New Frontier exhibition where attendees can socialize and visit virtual reality and mixed reality installations. Sundance is also introducing a new Biodigital Bridge, a human-scale screen that will connect “festivalgoers in Park City and those attending The Spaceship online from anywhere in the world — establishing the Festival as a metaverse that overlays the physical event with a virtual one.” Continue reading The Sundance Film Festival Advances Tech for Hybrid Model

USC Students Compete in Second ETC Metaverse Challenge

University of Southern California students were invited to participate in the second of two scheduled Metaverse Experience Challenges, hosted by ETC@USC. Making use of current and emerging tools, students were tasked with developing original ideas for compelling metaverse experiences. Ten teams started work at 1:00 pm on Friday, October 8 and presented their ideas to judges from Epic Games, Universal Pictures, Disney Studios, Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud at 3:00 pm on Saturday, October 9. Each member of the winning teams — MetaversEdu and MetaMall — received a Nintendo Switch “Fortnite” Edition, courtesy of Epic Games. Continue reading USC Students Compete in Second ETC Metaverse Challenge

ETC Launches First of Two Metaverse Experience Challenges

University of Southern California students were invited to participate in the first of two scheduled Metaverse Experience Challenges, hosted by ETC@USC. Making use of current and emerging tools, students were tasked with developing original ideas for compelling metaverse experiences. Six teams of randomly-grouped students started work at 1:00 pm on Friday, October 1 and presented their ideas to judges from Epic Games, Universal Pictures and Disney Research at 3:00 pm on Saturday, October 2. Each member of the winning teams — Meetaverse and Virtual Vinyl — received a Nintendo Switch “Fortnite” Edition, courtesy of Epic Games. Continue reading ETC Launches First of Two Metaverse Experience Challenges