Apple reveals what could be next for your screen

Floppy disks & headphone jacks? Apple innovated them out of existence

Everything from Apple II to iPod to iPhone has been reinventing the way we interact with the world on a 2D screen. Apple fans have been clamoring for Next Next Thing for some time, particularly since Steve Jobs died in 2011.

This week, Apple gave its customers an idea of ​​what could be next, and could help change the way people interact with their screens and environments forever.

Apple (AAPL) bought NextVR, a virtual reality transmission company. NextVR records live events, including sports and concerts, using special 3D camera equipment. People with virtual reality headsets, like Facebook’s Oculus, can stream events for an immersive experience: turn your head and you can see different parts of the venue, just like you are there.

Hi, hum, right? Virtual reality has been a promise for years, but its audience is primarily a niche group of gaming nerds. And traditional consumers aren’t exactly looking for their wallets, so they can wear an expensive headset to watch a relatively limited amount of content.

Well, not so fast: the adoption of virtual reality has skyrocketed. Facebook (FB) earns a great deal of money from advertising, but most of its non-advertising activities are Oculus sales, and that segment rose 80% in the first quarter.
Sales could further increase in this quarter. Without movie theaters during the pandemic, virtual reality could provide a welcome escape.
VR and AR headphones are out there. Oculus is the best known, but Microsoft (MSFT) has HoloLens, Google (GOOGL) has reported its unfortunate Google Glass and Samsung has a headset on which you can hook a Galaxy smartphone to watch VR content. Some lesser known tech companies like HTC also have VR headsets. The problem is that they are all a little embarrassing and some are half cooked.

AR games are becoming increasingly popular. Pokémon Go has been a sensation for a while: look at the world through your phone to pick up Pokemon characters that may be lurking behind a sign in your neighborhood.

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Technology has a way to go, but the promise is interesting: with virtual reality you can feel physically present in the game or in the film, interacting with the “world” that surrounds you. With AR, interact with actual world around you with improvements that could show you directions and notifications without constantly scanning your phone.

Why Apple

Apple doesn’t want to be surprised if and when traditional consumers finally adopt virtual reality and its less closed cousin, augmented reality. And if Apple embraces technology, which has been rumored for a long time, it could be the company that finally manages to break through.

If any company will help popularize funky-futuristic technology, it’s Apple. It has a way of bringing strange technologies to the fore. Apple’s magic isn’t as simple as slapping an Apple logo on pre-existing technology and making it look “normal”. But it’s close.

Apple was the first company to present the mouse and a graphical interface to a mainstream audience. The iPod presented digital music to a mass audience stuck on CD players. The iPhone and iPad brought touchscreens to the fore when keyboards and styles were all the rage. And Apple Pay contributed to the disclosure contactless payments, which we are all grateful for during the pandemic.

Virtual reality seems far away in the future, but Apple knows that we won’t be carrying around and watching phone screens for the rest of the time. Whether it’s a pair of glasses or contact lenses or some other technology that replaces the iPhone, it’s coming.

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Apple blew up its Mac business when it developed iPhone and iPad. Apple also wants to blow those companies up … before someone else hits him hard.

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