Apple’s Focus XR, VR vs Zoom meetings and Google’s ChatGPT competition


Image: Apple

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Our weekly recap: Apple’s XR headset appears to be getting closer, while Microsoft’s vision of a working Hololens battle mask is once again further away. Google could position a competitor to ChatGPT via a Deepmind detour.

The year of the Apple headphones

The unveiling of the Apple headphones, originally supposed to be in January, has been postponed at a moment’s notice, according to Apple journalist Mark Gurman. It is however certain: 2023 will be the year of Apple Reality. The XR device is supposed to be Apple’s flagship unveiling this year and even tie up capabilities from other hardware departments.

Microsoft fights with its combat headset

Hololens remains a difficult product for Microsoft, and this also applies to the military version: US soldiers complain of eyestrain and headaches, which is why Congress cancels a $400 million order. Instead, Microsoft will have to catch up and come up with a better version.

Ein Soldat legt im Häuserkampf mit der AR-Brille IVAS ein Sturmgewehr an.

The US military has been fighting with and against Microsoft’s military IVAS Hololens since 2019. | Image: U.S. Army photo by Spc. Chandler Coats, 5th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment.

How do VR meetings compare to Zoom and others?

Thorsten Hennig-Thurau, professor of marketing and virtual reality researcher, and his colleagues at the German University of Münster want to know if virtual meetings in a 3D environment move the participants more emotionally, if the teams are more creative and to what extent they collaborate. They involved 300 students, 100 of whom met with VR headsets. Result: videoconferences are always ahead.

Beautiful VR recordings

Thomas Huebner is a passionate VR photographer. It shows shots of a quality you rarely see. You can watch the scenes for free with a Quest 2, Pico or on SteamVR.

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Hochauflösendes Panorama-HDR-Photo der Umgebung des Dresdners Zwingers.

Dresden’s “Zwinger” in beautiful VR shots. | Image: Thomas Hübner

Google could go through Deepmind to catch up with ChatGPT

OpenAI’s ChatGPT is the biggest AI hype of all time – and would make Google fear for its core business. Deepmind’s Sparrow chatbot could launch in beta this year. Is this a way for Google to get out of the “innovator’s dilemma”?

More AI news from THE DECODER: Everyone is talking about image and language AI, but computer vision could have an even bigger impact on our daily lives. YOLOv8 shows the enormous capabilities of computer vision.

It’s an open secret that OpenAI is working on GPT-4, but so far there has been little official information. OpenAI CEO Sam Altman said GPT-4 only launches when it’s safe and responsible to do so.


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