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.
In the hopes of avoiding a repeat of the mistakes made with rushing a product out to market, Microsoft has announced that development of their mixed reality HoloLens device will be deferred to at least 2019. The hope is that they can avoid any similar mistakes that made the launch of the Kinect camera so problematic. Meanwhile, people can still get the current developer edition for $3500.
Johnny Jet has family in for the holidays and today's conversation is about mobile phones on the plane. The Department of Transportation is finally going to start allowing people to use their mobile phones on the plane. Leo says technological issues have never been why he's against that, but because people will keep talking loudly on the flight and it'll be even more annoying to fly. Johnny Jet says that VOIP is becoming very popular since in-air Wi-Fi has become very fast and reliable. Johnny says that it'll be left to the airlines to decide if it happens, and it won't be for a few years.
The White House has released an augmented reality app. The app called "1600" allows anyone with a smartphone or tablet and a $1 bill to take a tour of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Leo believes it's far more useful than virtual reality.
Microsoft is the first to leverage augmented reality with HoloLens. It's currently $3,000, but that should get cheaper soon. Leo says he wouldn't be surprised to see if plummet in price by next year.
Oculus Rift went on sale to the public this week. It's a virtual reality headset that has motion tracking in it along with a camera that can track your body's movements. It also has headphones with very good quality sound. For video, it means that you'll be able to look around and see things all around you. Instead of a camera man or director determining what you'll be seeing, you can look at anything you choose. Gaming is another big use case for these headsets. HTC has made a VR headset called the Vive in conjunction with Steam, a distributor of games for PC.