Why Apple is building two different smartglasses platforms

A new theory is coming into focus: Apple’s first face computer probably won’t be for you. It’ll be for the developers.

By Mike Elgan

A revolution is coming. And even the general public understands it has something to do with headsets, goggles or glasses.

But what is the reality of the coming revolution, exactly? Virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), extended reality (ER), mixed reality (XR)?

Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg changed the name of his company from “Facebook” to “Meta,” then miraculously convinced the media to refer to all of these realities as “the metaverse.” That marketing miracle also led many to view Zuckerberg as the leader — or, at least, the thought leader — of this new trend.

That’s why people were shocked (and Zuckerberg mocked) when Zuck shared a selfie from Horizon Worlds, Meta’s virtual reality game, as part of its European debut; instead of looking like the future, it looked like the 1990s. He later explained on Instagram that the graphics were “pretty basic”… “taken very quickly to celebrate a launch.”

While Zuckerberg says VR is the future, Apple says AR is the future.

Confusing things further, Apple — the great mainstreamer of major hardware platforms — is expected next year to ship a VR product to be used for AR.

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3D Hologram Company Creates Life Size Fully Interactive Augmented Reality Holographic Displays With Real Time Motion Tracking

Life-sized interactive 3d holograms that you fully control using holographic technology, motion tracking, and augmented reality are changing the face of live events and corporate meetings.

Interactive, life-sized holograms are changing the face of augmented reality–and, just maybe, your next corporate event or convention. Chicagoland-based hologram company 3D Hologram Rentals is thrilled to unveil an entirely new and innovative hologram-based technology. These life size, augmented reality holograms provide users with the power to step into the shoes of and avatar, superhero, celebrity, iconic personality, corporate mascot, robot, cartoon character, custom designed holographic character, corporate CEO, and more! Imagine a corporate event, keynote speaker, live event, virtual event, brand launch, marketing activation where the user can take turns controlling a real life-size hologram, or a corporate event where CEOs can give in-person holographic presentations from anywhere in the world!

Here’s how this new holographic technology works. A hologram installation projects a life-size, three-dimensional image of your choice. Maybe it’s an image of your favorite superhero. Or maybe it’s the new product branding avatar for your company’s convention exhibit launch party. Anyone who stands in the designated control area can then turn this image into their own personal avatar. When you lift your right hand, the cartoon character or superhero raises their right hand. The technology is fully set up and installed by the experts at 3D Hologram Rentals. Some companies will want a short term installation for a show or weekend event, while others may have a long term project in mind. The full size holograms are built using real time augmented reality and a full body control system. And they bring the wow factor to any event.

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AR-Powered Hotels Have Officially Arrived

Immersive technology could change the hospitality industry forever.

by Kyle Melnick

Moxy Hotels, a chain of stylish hotels owned by Marriot, today announced the Moxy Universe, Play Beyond, an augmented reality (AR) experience that allows guests to interact with the hotel in a variety of unique ways.

Starting now until the end of the year, visitors can use their mobile devices to explore 12 Moxy Hotels from Shanghai to Tokyo using a virtual avatar. Ahead of their stay, guests can use the Moxy mobile app to begin customizing their digital persona with different outfits, accessories, and hairstyles.

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Mojo Vision shows off mind-blowing new augmented reality contact lens

By Joshua Hawkins

Smart contact lenses could soon put an augmented reality display directly on your eyeball. At least, that’s the basic idea behind Mojo Vision’s prototype augmented reality contact lens. If successful, and able to do everything the company claims, these smart contact lenses could make a lot of ongoing AR headset development redundant before most of it is even released.

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Digital Twin Multi Network Models Could Aid Personalized Therapy, Biomarker, and Drug Discovery

An international team of researchers has developed advanced computer models, or “digital twins,” of diseases that can identify dynamic genome- and cellulome-wide, disease-associated changes in cells across time. Developed with the goal of improving diagnosis and treatment, the research, published in Genome Medicine, underlines the complexity of disease and the necessity of using the right treatment at the right time. The scientists, headed by Mikael Benson, PhD, at Linköping University, and Karolinska Institutet, reported on the development of one model to identify the most important disease protein in hay fever.

In their published paper, titled, “A dynamic single cell‑based framework for digital twins to prioritize disease genes and drug targets,” the investigators concluded, “We propose that our framework allows organization and prioritization of UR [upstream regulator] genes for biomarker and drug discovery. This may have far-reaching clinical implications, including identification of biomarkers for personalized treatment, new drug candidates, and time-dependent personalized prescriptions of drug combinations.”

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Planet-scale AR platform aims to build 3D map of the world

Pokemon Go creator Niantic has announced that it is building a state-of-the-art planet-scale augmented reality (AR) platform for current and future generations of AR hardware.

By Rich Pell

The software development company says that it is planning to launch the Lightship Visual Positioning System (VPS) at its developer summit later this month. The company’s Lightship Platform, which includes the Lightship Augmented Reality Developer Kit, is the foundation for the company’s products and the VPS is seen as the next step on its Lightship roadmap.

The system, says the company, is designed to form an underlying 3D map of the world so that all devices can share the same frame of reference even on massive scales.

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SOUTH KOREA’S RECON LABS RAISES $4.4M TO HELP SHOPPERS VISUALIZE PRODUCTS BY CREATING 3D MODELS IN AR 

By Kate Park

Augmented reality (AR) can help customers shopping online preview products before making a purchase, and is a growing area of investment for e-commerce businesses. According to a recent survey of 16,000 Snapchat users in 16 markets, 92% of Gen Zers want to use AR and VR for online shopping.

Now, a South Korean augmented reality (AR) startup called RECON Labs, which enables e-commerce customers to create 3D models within a few hours by taking a short video of products via its platform PlicAR, has raised $4.4 million. The company will use its Series A funding to increase its headcount and enhance its platform PlicAR, which helps automatically turn a 2D image into a 3D view of its products without requiring any special skills in 3D modeling.

RECON Labs CEO Seong-hoon Ban told TechCrunch that the firm works with a number of e-commerce marketplaces and retailers, including furniture companies that want to help their clients visualize products in 3D models in actual life-size in augmented reality.

The company currently offers its service to more than 22 small and medium companies in South Korea, and is in discussion with potential customers in the fashion, toy and food sectors, Ban said. Retailers can save time and costs by using PlicAR without building their own 3D modeling platform, he added.

RECON Labs claims it has more than 10,000 products that are 2D converted into 3D content. The platform will let users download, upload, view, sell and buy 3D assets through its web-based service in the future, like Sketchfab, which was acquired by Epic Games in 2021, Ban said.

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Nasa ‘holoported’ a doctor onto the International Space Station

Nasa flight surgeon, Dr. Josef Schmid gives a space greeting as he is holoported on to the International Space Station. (Credits: ESA/Thomas Pesquet)


By Jeff Parsons

Nasa is taking a step in a distinctly Star Trek direction with a new communication method it tested on the International Space Station (ISS).

It’s called ‘holoporting’ and, as you’d expect, is a mix between a hologram and teleportation.

And it resulted in Nasa flight surgeon Dr. Josef Schmid appearing on the space station as a hologram and able to talk to the astronauts in real time.

‘This is completely new manner of human communication across vast distances,’ Schmid said.

‘Furthermore, it is a brand-new way of human exploration, where our human entity is able to travel off the planet. 

‘Our physical body is not there, but our human entity absolutely is there. It doesn’t matter that the space station is traveling 17,500 mph and in constant motion in orbit 250 miles above Earth, the astronaut can come back three minutes or three weeks later and with the system running, we will be there in that spot, live on the space station.’

In a nutshell, the process uses bespoke capture technology to record 3D models of people which are then reconstructed, compressed and transmitted in real time.

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Mojo Vision’s New Contact Lens Brings Seamless Augmented Reality a Step Closer

By Edd Gent 

Blending the digital and real worlds could have a host of applications, from entertainment to training, but current augmented and virtual reality headsets are bulky and limited. Now a startup is promising a more seamless experience thanks to smart contact lenses.

Despite the recent buzz around the metaverse, the idea that we will soon be using VR headsets to spend large amounts of our lives in virtual worlds still seems somewhat fantastical given the current state of the technology. However, augmented reality (AR), in which digital elements are overlaid on a user’s view of the real world, could have more practical and near-term possibilities.

AR headsets like Microsoft’s Hololens 2 and Google’s Glass are already being used by companies like Toyota and Boeing to help repair cars or build planes faster. More recently, startup Magic Leap pivoted away from building a consumer-focused headset to targeting medical and defense applications.

But although they are already proving useful, AR headsets struggle with some common problems. They’re bulky and expensive, they offer a limited field of view, and perhaps most importantly, no one wants to be seen wearing them in public.

Silicon Valley startup Mojo Vision thinks it can solve these problems with a smart contact lens that sits inconspicuously on the eye and beams images directly into wearers’ retinas. The company’s latest prototype finally has all the ingredients to make its vision a reality.

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Google May Have Found The Tech To Take AR Smart Glasses Mainstream

Google May Have Found The Tech To Take AR Smart Glasses Mainstream


BY SANJIV SATHIAH
Google has acquired Raxium, a Californian-based start-up that is developing microLED display technology for use in augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) headset displays. The purchase was uncovered by The Information and has not been publicly announced, though estimates place the total cost of the deal at around $1 billion. As far as acquisitions go for Google, that’s not especially large; however, it could play a significant role in the company’s plans around AR and VR devices that it is said to have in the pipeline. 


A number of companies – including Meta, Apple, and Xiaomi – are known to be investing in the technology, all developing AR wearables that some consider to be the ‘next big thing’. Samsung is also investing heavily in microLED technology, and launched the world’s first microLED TV in late 2020. Although there hasn’t been much in the way of leaks regarding a possible Samsung microLED-based headset, it seems likely that it, too, is working on something in this space as well.

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Adobe Unveils New Augmented Reality Shopping Tool

Adobe’s new tool will be launched at Adobe Summit this week

By Patrick Kulp

The prototype is designed to make it easier for consumers to picture products in their living space.

Adobe is debuting a new tech designed to make it easier for retailers to embed augmented reality (AR) shopping options into their websites.

The enterprise software giant announced a tool that allows consumers to point their phone at a product image on an ecommerce site—and then see the item rendered three-dimensionally in their living space. Adobe says the true-to-life size precision—and the ability to pull multiple products into the same view—set its AR service apart from others on the market.

The tool is still undergoing internal testing and is not yet available to outside retailers. Unveiled during the annual Adobe Summit this week, it comes after AR shopping saw a surge in popularity during the pandemic as virtual try-on—and other at-home product testing served as a substitute for store visits. 

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Oppo Air Glass assisted reality device will project 2D information into your field of view

Oppo’s Air Glass will attach conveniently to frames

By Mark Gulino 

If you’ve been waiting for smart glasses that really make a difference, you may not have to wait much longer. Tech company Oppo is developing new assisted reality glasses. Read on to learn more!

Remember Google Glass? We sure do. It was a bold idea with plenty of potential, but it was well ahead of its time. Since then, other digitally enhanced glasses have come to fill the void. 

While some bring new things to the table, others fall flat. It isn’t necessarily the concept that’s the problem, it’s the execution. 

Well, the next company throwing its hat in the AR glasses race is Oppo. What is it up to, exactly? A new pair of assisted reality glasses: Oppo Air Glass. Let’s take a gander at this cool new gadget.

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