Virtual Reality

New Bloomberg report details Apple’s AR efforts

Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman in a new report Monday offered a deeper insight into Apple’s next big thing—the company’s secretive efforts related to augmented reality (AR) technologies which reportedly include an iPhone-connected digital spectacles that the news organization previously said would launch in 2018.

Citing people with knowledge of Apple’s plans, the report states that the company’s built a team combining the strengths of its hardware and software veterans with the expertise of talented outsiders. The group is allegedly being run by former Dolby Laboratories executive Mike Rockwell and includes engineers who worked on Facebook’s Oculus and Microsoft’s HoloLens virtual reality headsets “as well as digital-effects wizards from Hollywood.”

Former Android executive Hugo Barra to head Facebook’s Oculus and virtual reality teams

When former Android executive Hugo Barra announced three days ago he was leaving Chinese handset maker Xiaomi, he provided standard boilerplate explanation: he wanted to spend more time with his family because living and working abroad has taken a toll on his health and life.

Then again, that’s exactly the kind of stuff that you’d expect high-ranking executives to say when jumping ship or seeking greener pastures with another team.

As it turns out, Barra is leaving Xiaomi not because he’s burned out but to join Facebook where he will be charged with managing the Oculus team and the company’s other virtual reality projects, CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced yesterday.

The best VR apps and games available on the App Store right now

For years, techy gifts have been on an unstoppable rise and these holidays more than ever, new VR headsets of all kinds were added to the mix. If you are one of the lucky receivers of a Cardboard or any other generic pair of VR goggles compatible with your iPhone, your first address to go for VR-ready apps should of course be the App Store.

To help you get on top the bulk of apps available and break the tedious ‘download, try and delete’ chain, we have been weeding through the vast app-scape and given VR-ready apps a hard look. If you want to put your new toys to good use, here is a list of some of the best VR games and apps we believe you will want to embark on first.

Sales of virtual reality and augmented reality gadgets have been weaker than expected

Sales of augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) headsets and accessories have been “weaker than expected,” causing concerns for companies that have invested heavily in these technologies, according to a report Monday by Taiwanese trade publication DigiTimes. Weak demand for AR and VR gadgets is being blamed on a lack of content and expensive prices, among other factors.

Apple, as you know, is thought to be researching AR accessories of its own and has filed a number of patents pertaining to virtual reality technologies.