This amazing iPhone speaker gave me a glimpse into the future of Apple AR

This amazing iPhone speaker gave me a glimpse into the future of Apple AR

Jun Wan / ZDNET

For what seems like an eternity now, Apple has been dropping hints about the company The first ever AR/VR headset. Although nothing has been confirmed yet, it could happen Still 2-3 years old Before anything pops up, products like HoloKit X. It gives us a glimpse of what It could look like the future of Apple AR.

The HoloKit X is an iPhone accessory that takes advantage of technology you probably already use, such as 3D environmental perception via the iPhone’s LiDAR scanner and LAN connectivity over the same low power frequencies that power it. Airdrop, to create immersive augmented reality experiences. The company’s founder, Botao Amber Hu, has high ambitions for his iPhone headphones – and he thinks his approach is the most intuitive yet.

also: Best Augmented Reality Glasses: Professional AR and XR Headphones

iPhone for the eye

A key component of HoloKit X is its integration with the iPhone and Apple Watch (more on the wearable later). Unlike typical mixed reality headsets that need to be hooked up or charged, the HoloKit X is just the way to drive your iPhone, with support ranging from the latest iPhone 14 Pro Max to me iPhone XS. Ideally, he says, an iPhone with LiDAR support would perform best when exploring several “facts” created by his team of ten. This means anything from iPhone 12 Pro And above you should do. Anything older will still work but produce less accurate 3D visualizations.

HoloKit X with iPhone attached

HoloKit X uses NFC and Bluetooth Low Energy to communicate with the iPhone.

Jun Wan / ZDNET

Setting up the HoloKit X is as simple as opening a fact via the HoloKit app from your iPhone, unlocking the device in the headset, and letting the stereo lenses translate what’s on the iPhone screen onto your central vision. Naturally, he calls his technology “STAR,” which is an acronym for stereoscopic AR.

There are a total of 10 facts that you can currently try.

Jun Wan / ZDNET

By strategically aligning mirrors and windows, you’re technically never staring at your phone screen, as you would, say, Google Daydream or Samsung Gear VR. This greatly reduces eye strain and adds to the overall comfortable headphone wearing experience. It’s glasses friendly, too.

also: I’ve been thinking about Apple’s AR/VR headset, and I can’t believe it

The actual HoloKit X hood is made of hard plastic and flexible straps that contribute to a lighter frame at the expense of a cheaper hand feel. But “cheap” is certainly not the aesthetic he seeks. While the hardware of the HoloKit X is final, it envisions partnerships with streetwear brands like Supreme and Off-White that bring their signature designs to the headband of AR headphones. Once again, high ambitions.

HoloKit X iPhone Mode

A series of iPhone visual mirrors bounce off the transparent camera lens at the bottom.

Jun Wan / ZDNET

An enchanting world of augmented reality

Now, for the fun part: seeing things around you no one else can… unless it’s also synced to your local HoloKit channel. See, HoloKit X doesn’t have any built-in technology at all, except for an NFC tag that Hu says helps the app detect the iPhone you’re using to adjust visual scaling and collect anonymous data where Realities users are playing. Everything – – and I mean everything – Works with iPhone. For example, the iPhone connects with Bluetooth Low Energy, rather than cellular and WiFi, to host local channels for other HoloKit X owners to join or watch.

also: Learn about the companies that will shape the metaverse

This means that by scanning a uniquely generated QR code, those around you can watch your game using their iPhone or iPad as a scene selector. It’s a genius way to get everyone involved in the party. In fact, you can probably see via spectator mode a lot more than the somewhat dulled, 60-degree field of view that the headset provides to the actual user. This is one area that I would love to see improve with future iterations.

This is what the spectator will see. You don’t mind blasting an AI away.

Jun Wan / ZDNET

Besides viewing a spectator, the Harry Potter action above also demonstrates the Apple Watch’s HoloKit integration. With the equipped wearable, motion control tracking is enabled and thus, allows me to cast magic spells with a flick of the wrist. You can also see in the GIF how Apple’s HoloKit X ARKit uses six degrees of spatial tracking freedom. This means that items like energy shields and the AI ​​character will stay in one place, even if you move.

What you don’t see in a combat montage is how spatial and tactile sound plays out. Hu clearly wants to maximize the technology Apple has to offer, including its surround sound experience when wearing a pair of AirPods Pro or AirPods Max. So as you walk through one of the most sensory-based realities, the sound effects will adapt to how and where you are in the room.

reconsidering: AirPods Pro 2 offer two major upgrades with one major flaw

Touches also provide vibration feedback as you interact within reality. For example, your iPhone may make a slight noise whenever you are under a spell attack.

Notice how the LiDAR sensor detects household objects to improve visual effects.

Jun Wan / ZDNET

However, there is more potential for HoloKit X than just magic tricks and games. Hu Jintao sees augmented reality experiences expanding into a world NFTsas virtual galleries for digital artists.

also: How do these companies view virtual reality as the future of business

Pay (less) to play

Like it or not, the price to enter the metaverse isn’t cheap. just announced dead Quest 2 Pro starts at 1499 USDQuest saw 2 a $100 bump earlier this year. This is what makes HoloKit X’s Poster price $129 Everything is more surprising.

Since the company opened its online store in late October, Hu said most buyers are opting for the dual package, which comes with two headphones at a discount. It’s only $9 savings, but the demand there indicates to Hu that head-to-head from the HoloKit X is the aspect that resonates most with consumers. After all, in augmented reality, you can see the actual person you’re interacting with, not a creepy, emotionless avatar.

The man behind the mask

Before entering the mixed reality space, Botao Amber Hu worked for Google, Twitter, DJI, and a few other big-name companies that dominate Silicon Valley. It was at DJI, in particular, that he was able to explore the capabilities of LiDAR scanning and depth mapping, and he was impressed with how cameras and sensors measure the distances of objects in real life. Naturally, he combined his expertise in robotics and computing with his love of creating art and founded Holo Interactive.

also: The best VR headsets for gaming and beyond

HoloKit X isn’t meant to boost your productivity or sell it to organizations as a business tool, Hu told me. Instead, he just wants the AR headset to bring feelings of joy and amazement into people’s lives. It is a philosophy that is not too far from the best-selling VR / AR glasses on the market, which is Meta Quest 2. But unlike Quest 2, HoloKit X doesn’t transport you to another world or cause motion sickness. Instead, it applies an overlay of interactive graphics that naturally blends in with your surroundings, all without vexing your awareness of where you stand. Hu claims that the last part is important in reducing that feeling of nausea when wearing these curved headphones for reality.

HoloKit X next to Meta Quest 2

Meta Quest 2 (right) next to the HoloKit X (left) is moving to VR and AR, respectively, to change reality.

Jun Wan / ZDNET

And as for the question that was on my mind during a one-on-one meeting: Plans for Android compatibility? He didn’t even roll his eyes. “Right now, iPhones are the most reliable and consistent in terms of performance. There are hardware limitations as well, such as the lack of LiDAR sensors on Android devices.”

In fact, even within the iOS platform, Hu and the team delayed the launch of HoloKit’s software development kit in hopes of building the app from the ground up internally. The official version of the HoloKit app is scheduled to be released at the end of November. In the meantime, buyers can test the AR برنامج software Via TestFlight.

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