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Keeping a close eyes on patents, art and culture helps us know where the trends are headed. In this case, Apple has filed for a patent that appears to enable a host of really amazing features in their video calling app, FaceTime…

The patent in point is a new method of creating augmented reality within a live video chat. Augmented reality is basically the ability to overlay graphics onto a screen, and ranges from the simple scores pasted in the corner of your NFL broadcast, up to the cartoon augmented reality of Pokemon Go.

Apple could push things further by displaying alternate–but equally live–backgrounds behind a video caller. It only has to combine the face-on stream of a traditional camera with the stream from a secondary camera that takes in more of participant’s environment to add extra context. You’d be able to see a closeup of your friend’s face within a wider view of the room, café, or park where they were sitting. Conversely, the light field cameras could cut out a video caller’s image and project it onto a different background in true augmented reality style.

So rather than have the scores plastered over your NFL broadcast, your video calling friend’s image could sit there, instead, and you could watch the game on a stream from your computer and overlay your conversation on top of the action. Or, as with Pokemon Go, you could potentially project that cutout over the live viewpoint of an iPhone so it appears that your friend is sitting on the chair opposite you in a café.  It’s a much more personal experience than having your friend encased within the confines of a chat window.

Source: Apple’s Augmented Reality Is Coming to FaceTime, Using Light Field Camera Tech – VC Daily

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I’ve been hearing rumors about this for nearly a year, including multiple off-the-record discussions with people in the know.

Apple will be launching an augmented-reality phone this fall, and AR-glasses (if not this fall, in 2018).

Imagine Google Glass + Microsoft Hololens + Snap Spectacles, at an affordable price point and with functionality within the iOS ecosystem.

At SXSW earlier this month, my friend Robert Scoble told me, “It’s insane we’re at the biggest interactive conference in the world, and nobody is talking about Apple. A year from today, this is all anyone will be talking about.

Brands who aren’t experimenting with AR today will be behind when Apple goes all-in with AR later this year. The time to start is today!

Apple is working on several AR products, including digital spectacles that could connect wirelessly to an iPhone and beam content—movies, maps and more—to the wearer. While the glasses are a ways off, AR features could show up in the iPhone sooner.

Over time, Munster says, AR devices will replace the iPhone. “It’s something they need to do to continue to grow,” he says, “and defend against the shift in how people use hardware.”

Augmented reality is the less known cousin of virtual reality. VR gets more attention because it completely immerses users in an artificial world and has an obvious attraction for gamers. So far, however, headsets like the Oculus and HoloLens are niche rather than mainstream products. Apple believes AR will be an easier sell because it’s less intrusive. Referring to VR headsets, Cook last year said he thought few people will want to be “enclosed in something.”

Source: Apple’s Next Big Thing: Augmented Reality – Bloomberg

If you want to know what’s next, there are two things to always pay attention to — patents and art…



Today, a patent has been awarded to Apple for a “Head-Mounted Display Apparatus For Retaining A Portable Electronic Device With Display.”

Source: Apple Awarded Patent For Wireless VR HMD That Works With The iPhone

With the VP debate over now, it’s time to focus on more important things, like citizen journalism (CJ).

You’ve probably heard that Steve Jobs did not have a heart attack today, even though one person posted to that effect on CNN’s iReport CJ community.

But check this out via Silcon Valley Insider:

“Citizen journalism” apparently just failed its first significant test. A CNN iReport poster reported this morning that Steve Jobs had been rushed to the ER after a severe heart attack. Fortunately, it appears the story was false. We contacted an Apple spokeswoman, who categorically denied it.

CJ failed its first significant test? Really? This was the first ever test?

All of the CJ done around the elections so far have been a failure? Who is the judge of what’s a test and what’s success? Why does there have to be a test in the first place? I really resent this assertion.

People lie, play pranks and do stupid stuff all the time. I don’t excuse the person responsible and understand there were implications on the stock price, but condemning all CJ by this example is worse than the incident itself.

With MSM’s dislike of CJ, it’s unfortunate that CNN and it’s href=”iReport will become the story.

With that said, are there other examples of CJ affecting a stock price? Would love to hear them.

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I’m quoted in this Pioneer Press story today, talking about iPods and my issues with FM transmitters.

I still don’t see why Apple doesn’t take the FM tuning technology and build it into their iPod. Look for the next iPod to receive and transmit FM signals.