Apple shifts augmented reality efforts into high gear

Apple to Ramp Up Work on Augmented Reality Headset

An Apple employee showcases the augmented reality on iPhone 8. It's not clear whether the device's design is ultimately expected to resemble a headset similar to Microsoft's HoloLens or something closer to a pair of glasses.

"The development timeline is very aggressive and could still change", Bloomberg writer Mark Gurman noted, citing anonymous sources familiar with the project.

Apple has not yet finalised how users will interact with the headset, Bloomberg reports, though it seems to be exploring three main ways of interactions: Touch, voice (via Siri), and head gestures.

U.S. alone outside of Paris climate accord as Syria joins
The US will soon become the only country that opposes the worldwide landmark climate change accord known as the Paris Agreement. Washington still has a seat at the table in Bonn because the rules mean a formal pullout can only take effect in 2020.

Apple isn't the only company working on this technology. The headset will have its own display and use a custom system-on-a-chip, just like the Apple Watch now does.

CNBC reported in August that Apple and Aetna were having talks on how to expand a program that gave free watches to Aetna's employees. Unlike most current mobile-based virtual reality setups, which fully immerse a user in a digital world, Apple's headset will have its own display, operating system, and system-on-a-chip (SoC).

But while we may have known of Apple's AR ambitions for quite a while, today's Bloomberg report unearths an interesting piece of information: a new operating system. He also said that the field of view and the quality of the display itself is simply "not there yet".

Waymo's autonomous cars are already on public roads without safety drivers
But those tests typically require a human driver to be present and take over in case there is an emergency. Those who participated in Waymo's early rider program will be among the first to experience these rides.

"Now anything you would see on the market any time soon would not be something any of us would be satisfied with", Cook said.

Apple publicly demoed a number of unusual and exciting augmented reality apps created with its new ARKit developer framework over the last few months. It wouldn't say which company it would make AR components for, but given its key relationship with Apple it's hard not to assume it's anyone but the Cupertino company. "There's virtual reality and there's augmented reality-both of these are incredibly interesting".

Apple engineers are said to be now prototyping a range of applications for use in AR, reportedly using HTC Vive headsets for testing them. And the Facebook-owned Oculus recently launched an Oculus for Business bundle and a less expensive Oculus Go headset for enterprise use.

Disney held talks to acquire most of 21st Century Fox
Disney would acquire Fox's movie studio, cable networks like FX, and global holdings including its 39 percent stake in Sky. The additional movie content from 20th Century Fox would make the service a big competitor to something like Netflix .

In an earnings call last week, Cook hinted that a big augmented reality push could be coming from his company and said that new technologies "will transform the way you work, play, connect, and learn". "AR is going to change everything".

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