Leo had a chance to try out the "Creator's edition" of the new Magic Leap Virtual Reality Headset. Magic Leap has raised $1.4 Billion to create this VR headset. Leo says that selling a developer's edition is the new Beta. People buy them, and then shake out the bugs. Leo says that while VR is initially a wow experience, over time, you start to get sick to your stomach. And while Magic Leap was interesting, Leo says we are still in the infant days of virtual and augmented reality.
Julian called in with a suggestion for for Larry in Prescott, AZ, who wanted to connect an external camera to his smartphone for use with an app called BeMyEyes that acts as a visual aid. Julian's idea is to either use an Android device for this, or to use a service called aira.io. This service works in conjunction with glasses that would be worn and identify what things it is seeing.
Dale wants to know how he can automate functions on the iPhone. Leo says that in iOS 12, there will be a suggestions and shortcuts app that will enable him to automate a lot of things. He also wants to use augmented reality with his iPhone. Leo says that NBC and Comcast is huge into it, and have an app called Augmen.TV.
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When Google originally released Google Glass, it was a huge, overpriced failure. People were freaking out over privacy, and let's face it: You looked like a dork. Now, the talk is that Google is starting from scratch and creating a new augmented reality glasses design. The rumor comes from WinFuture and CNET stating that Google is working with a Taiwanese company to create a new design that is called the A65, with video capture, 3D overlays, built-in Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 5.1, GPS, and more.
Sam is trying to decide on a phone for his wife. He was thinking of getting a phone that runs Tango. Leo says that Tango is awful. Took expensive. Lousy battery life. And Google doesn't support it anymore. THey're going with AR Kit. But AR really isn't the reason to buy a mobile device. It's just a gimmick. But having said that, Samsung's S9 does it, and it's a great price with some great features. And it does have AR emoji, though Leo thinks they're a bit weird.
Magic Leap has been a company that's been all hype and no action for years, despite all of the great demos they have on their website. Now the company says it's making a prototype that looks like welder's glasses for augmented reality. This means it would put virtual things on top of the real world, so you're not completely isolated like you would be with virtual reality. Magic Leap says it will release its system to developers sometime this year. It features glasses, a small Discman sized computer that can attach to your belt, and a controller.
Apple announced new iPad Pros at its event a couple weeks ago, and Leo has the new 10.5" iPad in studio. He's had it for a little more than a week, and he has thoughts on it after using it for awhile. It looks very familiar compared to past iPads, and the changes to the new one are incremental. There's finally a decent camera in it — it has the same camera as the iPhone 7. The new screen is remarkable as well, it has richer colors and is more accurate. It also has a snappy A10X processor, which is noticeably faster — it even bests the latest 13" MacBook Pro.
In a clear sign that they are going after Snapchat, Facebook announced that they are opening up their API to allow app developers access to the camera in the Facebook app. They will also add support for filters, overlays, and other features that are similar to Snapchat, luring users away.
Leo says that Facebook is going after augmented reality in an effort to stay on top of the virtual genre. Leo says that competition is good. It'll be interesting to see how Snapchat and other companies respond.
Facebook and Oculus had their big confab this week and they're focusing on Augmented Reality, which will bring virtual elements into the real world through a headset that shows you the real world, with virtual elements overlaid on it. Leo says that Facebook is looking to that because they are aware that everyone is getting into VR and they are worried about losing their edge in the genre. So look for Facebook to add AR to Oculus VR. Facebook is also going to add vanishing messages to Instagram in an effort to bury Snapchat since they couldn't buy them.
Leo says that while Tim Cook has turned Apple into the most valuable company in the world, the one thing he has yet to provide is a successful original product launch. Leo says that's why Cook talking up augmented reality is so key. Could Apple be planning to launch AR with the next generation iPhone? Time will tell.