Presumably at the moment, Apple augmented reality only works in warm climates.
This month's release by Apple of the iPhone X with FaceID begins the first wave of consumer products designed from the ground up for continuous awareness of space, place and face - crowning a half a century of research in augmented reality destined to fuse our rising sea of data onto the real world. Over the last few years, …
Monday 13th November 2017 10:48 GMT djstardust
Can we just get a phone that works and has a battery that lasts more than ten minutes please?
I took a power bank with me on a stag weekend which I'm just back from, just in case I needed it for my Note 4, which I didn't. Seven out of the ten people on the trip were iphone users, and all their phones were dead by 8pm apart from one.
All this AR crap will just eat more battery whilst providing nothing for the average phone user.
Monday 13th November 2017 10:57 GMT Anonymous Coward
Re: Whatever ....
So if your phone lasted the day, why the urgent plea for bigger batteries? In Android world you can choose a phone with a bigger battery, or get a Moto with a battery pack Mod. Or as you did, use an external battery pack.
iPhones have never had the longest battery life, but they're far from the worst either.
Monday 13th November 2017 11:19 GMT Dave 126
Re: Whatever ....
> All this AR crap will just eat more battery whilst providing nothing for the average phone user.
No new hardware feature adds anything for the average phone user *until* devs write software for it. No Devs can or will write software for it until the hardware is there.
If you don't use any AR feature, I'm not sure why you think the mere presence of some dedicated AR silicon will eat up your battery life.
Monday 13th November 2017 12:40 GMT Anonymous Coward
Monday 13th November 2017 13:27 GMT Dave 126
Re: Whatever ....
I still can't follow Stardust's logic here. He goes on a stag do. His friends' phones run out of battery before his bigger phone with a bigger battery does (shocking). He attributes this to an AR co-processor that his friends' phones likely don't have (only the iPhone 8 and X do). He decries new features, but has a premium phone from Samsung who are notorious for throwing in every feature bar the kitchen just for the hell of it.
Monday 13th November 2017 14:20 GMT TRT
Monday 13th November 2017 10:50 GMT Dave 126
Developers noted that ARkit was battery hungry on iPhones before the release of the iPhone 8 and X. These latest phones have some dedicated silicon for environment mapping, presumably making the process more power efficient.
MS too have dedicated DSPs in their HoloLens, and Google's Pixel has a DSP - not yet activated - for processing camera input.
Qualcomm have been touting some Snapdragon co-processors for release in early 2018 phones, along with some active IR real-time 3D scanners.
Monday 13th November 2017 18:24 GMT Anonymous Coward
@Dave 126 - Pixel DSP
The Pixel's DSP has been active from day one - if you are using the standard camera app. Where it has yet to be activated is to make it available for third party apps to utilize.
For some reason there has been a lot of confusion on this point, which some reviewers incorrectly claiming it isn't active yet, they must have been confused over what Google was telling them.
Monday 13th November 2017 11:27 GMT Elmer Phud
Monday 13th November 2017 12:16 GMT Dave 126
Re: Magic Leap ?
I wouldn't invest in them, but it's hard to call either way. To be generous for a moment, they do seem to have a good idea of what they are trying to achieve, with research into to optics, silicon and 3D rendering, plus partnerships with authors and 3D studios. As such they appear to focused on a Gee Whizz entertainment experience, rather than industrial (MS) or shopping and social media applications (FB, Apple).
I'm not expert enough to judge on how important their patent portfolio is - i.e whether they can be defended or not easily worked around.
Tim Cook says that the technology for good AR glasses doesn't exist yet. Obviously that's just his view or a bluff, but Magic Leap are reportedly struggling to bring the size and weight of their glasses down (remember, we're being generous for the sake of argument here).
Silicon and 3D frameworks are something Magic Leap are working on, but these are areas Apple have shown themselves to be good at in recent years.
Monday 13th November 2017 13:12 GMT ecofeco
Re: Magic Leap ?
As the article clearly shows, AR and VR are literally decades old technology. My personal experience is that AR and VR simply is not that hard. The TV industry has been doing it for decades. HP mastered it back in the last decade on the their iPaq. (remember the iPaq?)
Monday 13th November 2017 12:17 GMT Version 1.0
Monday 13th November 2017 12:26 GMT Lamont Cranston
Monday 13th November 2017 13:02 GMT Anonymous Coward
Monday 13th November 2017 13:15 GMT Dave 126
Re: Don't say
Define innovation. Is it creating good quality raw ingredients, or is it cooking them together into something people will pay to eat? The reality is more nuanced - it's working with the suppliers of the raw ingredients - or buying them. . As noted above, Apple haven't been alone in developing silicon for AR applications. The difference is, iPhone users will inevitably end up with a phone that contains it even if they don't know what it is at the time - and then app developer might create some that works on millions of handsets. In the diverse world Android, not all handsets will feature AR features. (I'm an Android user with a 3D printer gathering dust... A 3D scanning phone appeals to me, but I'm a niche case. The mainstream SLAM use cases are likely to revolve around commerce and shopping as well as games)
Monday 13th November 2017 13:07 GMT ecofeco
Did I read the article too fast?
I saw no mention of HP's early AR efforts with the iPaq in the previous decade.
While there is very little to be found on Google, I distinctly remember they were using AR for museum and city tours and some games.
Monday 13th November 2017 13:35 GMT Dave 126
Re: Did I read the article too fast?
From what I can make out from the link you posted, that HP-owned company merely made software that responded to a QR code on a print advert and then displayed a video within the 2D border of the advert.
Scanning a QR code and then detecting the edges of a 2D rectangle is technically very easy. It's a different ball game to real time mapping of a 3D environment.
Monday 13th November 2017 13:21 GMT johnnyblaze
I can truly see why big companies want AR to be a success. Where before, they could slurp up details of what you typed and what sites you went to, now they'll be able to take it to the next level - massive data collection of everything you look at. Imagine watching TV, or looking at a web page or an old style catalog wearing 'AR' glasses.They'll be able to tell how long you spent looking at an item for, what you spent most time looking at etc. All that info will be invaluable to them monetizing the end user.
My personal opinion is that VR will be moderately popular with hardened (not causal gamers) who are used to shelling out lots of cash on their rigs. AR will fall flat on it's arse though. It's too expensive, cumbersome and limited for the casual user, and pointless for the all-in gamer who want's the 'full' experience. Professional markets may make more use of it, but not the consumer.
Monday 13th November 2017 13:54 GMT Dave 126
Commerce. Selling people clothes online - this is a huge area. With a body scan of the buyer, more if the guess work is taken out of online clothes retail. It's actually common for people to buy three sizes of a garment and then return the two that don't fit. Seeing how a new sofa will fit into your lounge. Virtually repainting your walls before picking up a brush.
For those of us who don't go for retail therapy in the same way, there's DIY and hobbyist applications. Wave your phone around a room and extract the data for a cutting list in CAD - a lot of local timber yards have a CNC router these days.
The sheer amount of real estate taken up by B&Q and IKEA should give you a clue that there's money in these sectors.
And this is even before we account for the next Pokémon Go-style craze. Or some social media silliness. In the entertainment sector, social board gaming is still a thing... it's easy to imagine a hybrid Games Workshop set up with AR assisting in the rules and game play.
Well, you take your guess and I'll take mine. I might suggest that the answer doesn't lie in a single 'killer application' (eg buy a PC for a spreadsheet) but in dozens of handy applications (buy an ARM tablet to watch TV, read recipes, comics and sheet music, to control audio workstations etc etc). )
Monday 13th November 2017 13:59 GMT Dave 126
I may have misread you. I was taking AR to include an environment-aware phone or tablet. Rereading your comment, it seems by AR you meant AR goggles (which yes, would be an extra cost to a casual user, and as you say, cumbersome to boot). However, many of the sensors, silicon and software framework will be common to both.
Monday 13th November 2017 15:39 GMT Anonymous Coward
“massive data collection of everything you look at”
Make that everyONE you look at. I tried a Google Glass, a wink was enough to get a picture. They were called glassholes imho not because they were wearing them, but because they failed to take them off during a visit to the pub.
I use services from Facebook, Google, Microsoft and Apple. When I want, where I want. SLAM sounds cool, but when I’m down the pub and an AR droid shows up it will become SLAP post haste. As in Simultaneous Location And getting Punched in the face.
Monday 13th November 2017 14:34 GMT juice
AR, VR, 3D, 4K, Blu-ray, motion controls...
Each one has arrived on a grand wave of publicity about how it's the next big thing... and have ended up serving a relatively niche market.
When it came to 3D, people didn't want to wear clumsy glasses when sitting on the sofa, and even cinemas have pretty much given up on using it as a "premium" experience gimmick; my local Cineworld only has one 3D film at the minute (Thor:Ragnarok), and the 3D in that film was added post-production. Even Nintendo conceded that 3D added little to its games when it released the 2DS.
Similarly, people don't want to wear a VR helmet, and the experience only really works for scenarios where you're in a vehicle.
Blu-ray never caught on to the expected extent, partly thanks to the fact that (upscaled) DVD quality was generally Good Enough. And while 1080p has caught on pretty well, it's perhaps ironic to note that it's Good Enough for most people when compared to 4K screens.
Motion controls never really caught on with the core gamer demographics, and quickly went the way of the dodo when the freshly arrived 'casual' gamer demographic got bored of Wii Sports and went back to whatever occupied their time before the Wii arrived. It's a bit of a shame that Microsoft didn't pay attention and insisted on bundling the Kinect v2 with the Xbox One!
And now we have AR. Again - after all, it's something that Nintendo vaguely tried to push with the 3DS, and it's also shown up in other places, such as Google Tango or Ikea Place (an iOS app which lets you experiment with placing virtual furniture in your rooms). But fundamentally, the value-add for AR is just as low as it was for 3D and VR.
Even Pokemon Go - the big success story mentioned in the article - has seen it's popularity dwindle drastically since launch. Admittedly, there's still millions of people playing it, but are they playing it because it's AR or because it's Pokemon? I suspect it's the latter - and that it would have been just as big a hit without the AR features.
But hey. Engineers get to build fun toys, venture capitalists get to burn through large cash piles in hopes of riding the next Big Thing and some useful things do occasionally come out of all the R&D spend. So it's all good, right?
Monday 13th November 2017 15:12 GMT Stuart Castle
Personally, I think you are right in that VR will sell to gamers, particularly those with mid range and high end rigs (IE, probably the only people that would call their computers "rigs").
The casual gamer is likely to be impressed should they see a decent VR system in action, but unlikely to be able to afford (or justify) the expense required for the headset and a PC powerful enough to do do it justice.
It's also worth noting that beyond games and entertainment, it is difficult to see a use for VR outside those industries though. It's use in enterprise is also limited by the fact that by definition, someone using VR is unable to see anything outside the helmet.
AR has the advantage that it can display objects as if they were in the real world. This means it's entirely feasible that, say, a field service engineer can use it it to view mantenance instructions while actually maintaining the machine. For instance, I've been told that ThyssenKrupp are looking at using the Hololens to enable their lift engineers to look up Life maintenance manuals while fixing the lift. It could also be feasibly used in conjunction with something like Skype, so enabling people to communicate and, Kingsman style, appear to be in the same room. If you have executives that spend most of their lives flying all over the world in Business class, then even the £3,000 or so Microsoft charge for an Enterprise Hololens suddenly starts to look cheap.
For consumer AR, I suspect the Skype style virtual presence system I describe above could also be a selling point, but the main use is probably in gaming and entertainment.
In both cases, there may be a potentially hefty cost to implement AR on a desktop or laptop computer.
With regard to Apple's action, assuming the market does take off, including AR support by default in iOS 11 gives them a massive advantage. They already have a potential audience of millions, that they can sell apps to.
Don't get me wrong. I have access to a Hololens at work, and the geek in me loves being able to wear it, and pin webpages to the wall as if they were posters. I am also actively looking for ways we can use it in our day to day work. I also have access to VR headsets (Gear VR, Vive and Rift) and love them. I'd also love to be able to buy my own Hololens and Rift for home use (although at home I'd get more use from the Rift), I just think the potentially expensive dedicated hardware will be over taken by phones that have AR support, as people can more easily justify spending hundreds of pounds on a phone (which has uses even if the VR and AR don't take off) than they can on a device that may be obsolete in a year.