Archive for the ‘ar’ Category

There’s a new Minecraft game coming, and it’s played entirely in augmented reality

May 17th, 2019

Microsoft may believe it has made augmented reality's killer app: the just-announced Minecraft Earth for iOS and Android.

AR on mobile devices may carry tremendous potential, but it's easy enough to argue that the mainstream value proposition hasn't arrived yet. Pokémon Go is probably the most oft-cited "killer app" for AR, but it's only barely a true AR app. And there are some neat shopping apps and educational tools (from Warby Parker and Ikea, for example) but none of them have made a big dent in the mainstream consciousness.

Minecraft Earth

At first glance, Minecraft Earth seems a bit like Pokémon Go, given that it seems to be location aware in some ways. But there's a bit more to it than that. Players will be able to construct builds on their living room tables either alone or in collaboration with others, then go and place them full-size in the outside world when they're ready. You can collect new mobs (both familiar and new) and resources around you to incorporate in your build, then fight them in the life-size version of the build. Fundamentally, it appears to be the basic Minecraft experience translated to augmented reality with geolocation features.

Read 3 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Posted in ar, arkit, augmented reality, Gaming & Culture, microsoft, Minecraft, Minecraft Earth, pokemon go, Tech | Comments (0)

To protect users’ privacy, iOS 12.2 will limit Web apps’ access to iPhone’s sensors

February 4th, 2019
A woman uses a smartphone to take a photo.

Enlarge / A user tries out features in ARKit. (credit: Apple)

The beta for iOS 12.2 contains a change to mobile Safari that could have implications for the advertising and marketing worlds, as well as for Web-based augmented or virtual reality more generally.

In the beta, a toggle labeled "Motion & Orientation Access" exists in the Safari privacy settings panel. This toggle determines whether sites visited in the mobile Safari browser will be able to access the iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad’s gyroscope or accelerometer. This setting currently defaults to "off," which means users would have to have the foresight to navigate to the Settings app and enable it before being able to use AR experiences from the Web.

Two Apple employees on Twitter elaborated on the change. Apple software engineer Ricky Mondello wrote in a tweet thread recounting the various notes in the Safari 12.1 release for iOS:

Read 7 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Posted in apple, ar, augmented reality, iOS 12, ios 12.2, Mobile Safari, Safari, Safari 12.1, Tech, virtual reality, VR, web apps, web browser, WebKit | Comments (0)

Apple walks Ars through the iPad Pro’s A12X system on a chip

November 7th, 2018
The 2018, 12.9-inch iPad Pro.

Enlarge / The 2018, 12.9-inch iPad Pro. (credit: Samuel Axon)

BROOKLYN—Apple's new iPad Pro sports several new features of note, including the most dramatic aesthetic redesign in years, Face ID, new Pencil features, and the very welcome move to USB-C. But the star of the show is the new A12X system on a chip (SoC).

Apple made some big claims about the A12X during its presentation announcing the product: that it has twice the graphics performance of the A10X; that it has 90 percent faster multi-core performance than its predecessor; that it matches the GPU power of the Xbox One S game console with no fan and at a fraction of the size; that it has 1,000 times faster graphics performance than the original iPad released eight years ago; that it's faster than 92 percent of all portable PCs.

If you've read our iPad Pro review, you know most of those claims hold up. Apple’s latest iOS devices aren’t perfect, but even the platform’s biggest detractors recognize that the company is leading the market when it comes to mobile CPU and GPU performance—not by a little, but by a lot. It's all done on custom silicon designed within Apple—a different approach than that taken by any mainstream Android or Windows device.

Read 48 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Posted in A12X, Anand Lal Shimpi, apple, ar, CPU, Features, GPU, Interview, ipad, ipad pro, ISP, machine learning, Neural Engine, Phil Schiller, silicon, Tech | Comments (0)

Now Dell has a mixed reality headset, and the XPS 13 has 8th-gen Intel CPUs

August 28th, 2017

Enlarge (credit: Valentina Palladino)

Dell has a wide array of products under its name and brands, including Alienware, but the company has never had its own mixed reality headset until now. Dell announced the Dell Visor ahead of this year’s IFA conference, along with a number of updates to its XPS and Inspiron systems. Most notably, all of Dell’s updated laptops and convertibles will have 8th-generation Intel processors, making them some of the first devices to launch with the new CPUs later this year.

Dell jumps into mixed reality

Dell has made a number of VR-ready desktops and laptops, but now it has its own VR headset to go along with them. The company’s first mixed reality headset looks most like HP’s or Acer’s headset, with an oval-shaped ring that fits around your head with an attached, goggle-like viewfinder. The head-wrapping ring adjusts easily using a thumbwheel that expands and contracts the sides, similar to adjusting the length of a pair of over-ear headphones. With the ring opened just wide enough for your head, you can tilt the viewfinder up to put the device on, then snap it down into place when you’re ready to enter a mixed reality experience.

Overall, the Visor feels less cumbersome on your face than an Oculus Rift. With no external sensors needed, it’s also easier to set up than an HTC Vive. Users will still need to draw a five-by-seven-foot boundary for their mixed reality situations to live in, but that’s done by simply hovering the headset over your boundary lines. The Visor connects to a compatible PC through a single USB Type-C connector, and you only have to manage that one cord, so it creates less of a mess around your PC. Similarly to HP’s and Acer’s headsets, it has 1440×1440 panels for each eye.

Read 10 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Posted in ar, dell, dell visor, Gaming & Culture, inspiron 5000, inspiron 7000, mixed reality headset, Tech, VR, xps-13 | Comments (0)