This week in augmented reality gives us a first inside look at Apple's mysterious AR glasses, Firefox launching the new version of their XR browser, ThirdEye's headset helping the visually impaired and remote AR ultrasound!
The latest in Apple rumours gives us a first look at the specs for the long-awaited AR glasses from Apple. After years of talking and speculating about the products, a video released by leaker Jon Prosser has shed light on Apple’s most mysterious products, to-be-called the “Apple Glass”. The glasses will, according to Prosser, be regular glasses, with or without a subscription. They will connect to your iPhone, which handles the data processing (hence the low price). A prototype has been seen with plastic frames, but metal ones are just as likely. The glasses will have LiDAR, Apple’s new 3D scanning tech integrated but no cameras.
Both lenses will have displays, and there will be gesture control on and in front of devices along with the ability to scan Apple QR codes. They are rumoured to be announced this year together with the iPhone 12 and to be available end of 2021. Keeping in mind this will be the first-gen Apple Glass, meaning the next one could see processing shifting away from the iPhone as well as the tech applied for tinted glass, aka sunglasses.
So there, this is what is predicted to expect, are we blown away or nay? Until we see it in action, hard to say.
ThirdEye, a company known for their lightweight X2 MR (mixed reality) Glasses, have announced a partnership with NuEyes, who specialises in technology for people with visual impairments. Together they are introducing the Pro2, which will combine NuEye’s software with ThirdEye’s X2 MR Glasses to assist people with vision loss. With the Pro 2, wearers can use voice commands to identify and magnify objects near and far, change the contrast in different light settings or use character recognition and text to speech to read.
They are aimed at being used to support basic day-to-day functions for those who have suffered vision loss that cannot be cured by surgery or conventional glasses. An excellent example of two innovative technologies joining forces for the better!
Recent times has seen many an advancement in the field of remote-assistance AR; the latest comes in the form of a handheld ultrasound device, the Butterfly iQ, and their TeleGuidance to be used for remote diagnostics. The scanner connects to an iPhone and iPad, and the application connects to a remote practitioner with both being able to view the ultrasound image. The medical professional can then through oral guidance, along with visual AR cues in the app, take the person through correctly performing an ultrasound. The scanner works best on iPhone’s that have the power to handle AR and the room-scanning, machine-learning guidance needed. Android phones are compatible with the scanner but no AR guidance.
Although medical equipment is under regulations to not be used by non-medical professionals, the company behind it, Butterfly Network, got temporary permission for the duration of the coronavirus emergency, lungs being among what can be scanned with the device. The device lies at $2000 plus subscription services, so it definitely does not come free, but doctors prescribing or loaning in the future could mean a possibility of insurance coverage.
Firefox has announced the release of Firefox Reality 10, the latest version of their mixed reality browser for the Hololens 2 platform. The one-of-a-kind browser now supports WebXR, meaning the browser will now support XR experiences tailored for the web. The browser also now supports gaze navigation allowing you to control various browser functions without the need for a controller if you don’t have one or you cannot use one. Firefox was one of the first to launch a browser specifically designed for XR and with this release continues to innovate to fit the needs of XR headset users.
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