Apple’s VR Vision Comes Into Focus

this is that slow time in the world of gadgets and consumer technology, product purgatory between CES and phone announcement season making for a lack of device news. For now, there’s only one thing to do with this week’s roundup of gadget news: dive deep into the rumor and find out what Apple is up to.

Once again, new details have been leaked about Apple’s ongoing plans to build an AR/VR headset and mixed reality ecosystem. Thanks to reports from Bloomberg and The Information, Apple’s vision for the most anticipated device has come into focus in years.

Apple seems interested in developing a device that replicates its mobile iOS experience into a virtual or augmented realm. The headset, which Bloomberg reporter Mark Gurman says will likely be called Reality Pro and will be released later this year, will use internal and external cameras to track eye and hand movements, allowing you to play around with AR objects, that are projected into real spaces. It enables AR FaceTime calls with realistically rendered video of the person wearing the headset. This reportedly works for one-on-one calls, where multi-person calls are all rendered as Apple’s slightly terrifying Animoji cartoons.

Apple has also been quietly building an AR software environment into which it and other companies can build apps. Apparently, Apple has leveraged technologies typically used in video games, like procedural generation, to create virtual environments like a meditation garden and even an interactive Dr. Seuss story.

The headset is said to cost around $3,000, with cheaper models slated for release in 2024 or 2025.

Here’s more of this week’s gadget news.

Microsoft stops selling Windows 10

Windows 10, widely considered a pretty decent operating system, is being phased out in favor of its mostly good successor. Microsoft says it will stop selling Windows 10 licenses after January 31.

But it doesn’t completely kill the operating system – at least not quite yet. On its Windows 10 Store page, a disclaimer states that Microsoft will support Windows 10 until October 14, 2025. That’s about a decade of life for the operating system, which is on track with Microsoft’s earlier support of its popular operating systems. (Microsoft ended support for the hugely popular Windows 7 in 2020, over a decade after its release.) Still, it signals that Microsoft is looking to move more fully into its Windows 11 era. The company released the first major update to its new operating system last September.

Substack gets a private mode

Substack, the independent newsletter and blogging platform that has become the darling of independent journalists, is getting a private mode. It works like your fancy Finsta account or Twitter circle where only people you approved can see posts. The company compares it head-to-head with Instagram’s private mode, saying that this will give substackers the ability to test feeds or make posts available only to friends or specific communities. (You know it’s only a matter of time before an author accidentally posts a horny 8,000-word screed on the main page.)

The move has an almost nostalgic appeal. After all, having a blog that few people read will probably seem very familiar to those of us who were online around 2007.

U TikTalking 2 Me?

TikTok has been in the news quite a bit lately, mostly because everyone keeps trying to ban the app in the US. Despite this, the app continues to push out silent updates for its platform. The latest is the ability to customize who you receive DMs from.

You can choose to be available for DMs from everyone, mutual followers, or suggested friends. Suggested Friends mode allows DMs from people you’ve added through your contacts or other social media services like Facebook. You can also disable DMs entirely. It’s not as comprehensive as Instagram’s recent Quality of Life updates aimed at protecting younger users, but TikTok is clearly prioritizing DMs to keep people engaged with the app. Apple’s VR Vision Comes Into Focus

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