Apple Hires Creator of Virtual Reality Cyber Paint App

Apple recently hired Sterling Crispin, a new virtual reality hire who developed a painting app for mobile VR headsets, reports Variety.

Called “Cyber Paint,” Crispin’s app is designed to allow VR headset wearers to create 2D and 360-degree pictures….

Apple recently hired Sterling Crispin, a new virtual reality hire who developed a painting app for mobile VR headsets, reports Variety.

Called "Cyber Paint," Crispin's app is designed to allow VR headset wearers to create 2D and 360-degree pictures. Cyber Paint is available for Oculus Go, Daydream, GearVR, and Vive Focus.


According to his LinkedIn page, Crispin joined Apple in May 2018 as a "prototyping researcher," an interesting title given Apple's rumored interest in virtual reality.

Apple is said to have a secret research unit composed of hundreds of employees who are working on AR and VR and exploring the ways the two emerging technologies can be used in future Apple products.

Rumors have suggested Apple is developing multiple AR/VR headset prototypes, including a headset that would feature an 8K display for each eye and would work with both virtual and augmented reality applications. This device is not tied to a mobile device and reportedly works with a dedicated box using high-speed short-range wireless technology.

There have also been multiple reports of Apple's work on augmented reality smart glasses with a dedicated display, a built-in processor, and an "rOS" or reality operating system based on iOS.

Prior to developing his Cyber Paint app, Crispin served as a lead UX designer at DAQRI, where he worked on software developed for augmented reality and head mounted displays, and before that, he was a freelance VR developer, so he has both AR and VR experience.

Apple has made several AR/VR-related hires and acquisitions in recent years, all of which are outlined in our dedicated AR/VR roundup. Acquisitions include Vrvana, a company that developed a mixed reality headset called Totem.

It's not entirely clear when we might see an AR or VR headset from Apple, but multiple rumors have suggested Apple is aiming for a 2019 to 2020 launch date for such a device.

Related Roundup: Apple VR Project

Discuss this article in our forums

Apple Engineer and YouTuber Mark Rober Working on Anti-Motion Sickness VR Technology for Use in Autonomous Vehicles

Engineer and popular YouTuber Mark Rober, who is known for his science-related videos that can rack up millions of views, works at Apple as an engineer in the special projects group, reports Variety.

The site says that Rober has been working on Appl…

Engineer and popular YouTuber Mark Rober, who is known for his science-related videos that can rack up millions of views, works at Apple as an engineer in the special projects group, reports Variety.

The site says that Rober has been working on Apple's virtual reality projects, including "using VR as on-board entertainment for self-driving cars." On Rober's LinkedIn page, it says he works as a product designer at an unspecified company he first joined in 2015, suggesting he's been with Apple for some time.


To explain the kinds of things Rober may be working on, Variety points to a pair of Apple patent applications that cover an "Immersive Visual Display" and an "Augmented Virtual Display," which were filed in 2016 and describe virtual reality systems that could be used by passengers in self-driving cars. The patents list Mark Rober as a primary inventor.

Both of the patents describe a VR headset that could help alleviate in-car motion sickness in autonomous vehicles, with one suggesting replacing the view of the real world with virtual environments that include visual cues to match physical motions the passenger is experiencing and the other describing virtual content that appears as a fixed object in the external environment.

One of the patents suggests that a virtual reality system for cutting down on motion sickness could aid in productivity because it would allow passengers (which would include all persons in an autonomous vehicle as a driver would not be required) to perform work while the vehicle is in motion without experiencing motion sickness. It also suggests VR could provide "enhanced virtual experiences" to passengers.

Many passengers in vehicles may experience motion sickness. Typically, this is not the case for the driver. However, with the arrival of autonomous vehicles, the driver becomes a passenger, and thus may want to occupy themselves while, for example, riding to work. Passengers in conventional or autonomous vehicles may, for example, want to read a book, or work on their notebook computer.
Apple is currently working on autonomous driving software that is being tested in Lexus SUVs that are out on the road near its Cupertino headquarters, and the technology is reportedly being implemented into employee shuttles.

Apple has inked a deal with Volkswagen to use Volkswagen T6 Transporter vans as self-driving shuttles to transport employees around its various campuses and office buildings in the San Francisco Bay Area. It's not clear if and when Apple plans to implement the VR technology Rober is working on into the shuttles or other future autonomous car projects, but there are many concepts that Apple patents that never make it into finished products.

Prior to joining Apple, Rober spent eight years as mechanical engineer at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, and he also served as a product designer at Morph Costumes.


He also maintains a popular YouTube channel with 3.4 million subscribers, sharing science-related videos like "Lemon Powered Supercar," "How to Survive a Grenade Blast," "How Much Pee is in Your Pool," and "iPhone ATM PIN Code Hack - How to Prevent."

Related Roundups: Apple Car, Apple VR Project

Discuss this article in our forums

Standalone VR Headset ‘Oculus Go’ Now Available for Purchase for $199

During the F8 Facebook Developer Conference this morning, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced the launch of the Oculus Go, the latest virtual reality headset from Oculus, which is owned by Facebook.

Priced at $199, the Oculus Go is Oculus’ first standalone VR headset, which Zuckerberg said represents the “first really affordable standalone virtual reality headset.”


It’s shipping with more than 1,000 apps, and it features the “highest quality lenses and optics” that Oculus has ever built into a VR device. Given its affordable price point, Zuckerberg says that it’ll be the “easiest way to get into VR,” and that the company expects this is how many people will experience virtual reality for the first time.

Design wise, the Oculus Go looks similar to the Oculus Rift. It’s a VR headset that fits over the eyes and attaches to the head with adjustable straps and breathable fabrics. It is a standalone device, which means it does not require a connection to a computer or a gaming system to operate.


Oculus Go features a 5.5-inch display with a 2560 x 1440 resolution (1280 x 1140 per eye) and it runs using Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 821 processor.

There are spatial audio drivers built into the headset to provide immersive sound, but it also includes a 3.5mm headphone jack to allow users to connect headphones if desired. The included controller translates natural movements into VR using a touch surface and a trigger button.

In a review, The Verge said that while the Oculus Go is not the “flashiest or most high-tech” headset on the market, it’s the “best that simple mobile VR has ever been.”

The Oculus Go does not feature a full motion controller or inside-outside tracking to allow users to walk around rooms sans external cameras, and it can be likened to the Samsung Gear VR but as a dedicated piece of hardware. Looking through the Oculus Go “isn’t that different” than using a Gear VR, says The Verge, and the app library is similar.

The Oculus Go makes improvements to the Gear VR, but its biggest achievement is just making mobile VR content easier to access. It’s a reasonably priced device that doesn’t require having a specific phone, doesn’t force you to clumsily lock that phone into another piece of hardware, and doesn’t drain the battery that you might need for more important tasks. And as long as VR is still a labor of love, anything that reduces the “labor” factor is great news.

In other virtual reality news, Zuckerberg says Facebook is working on a new feature that would allow customers to recreate their childhood homes using computer vision and referencing old photographs. Facebook plans to work on mapping out immersive spaces and “creating a real feeling of presence.


Later this month, Oculus will also launch Oculus TV, allowing Oculus Go users to watch entertainment from services like Hulu, ESPN, Showtime, and more.

The Oculus Go can be purchased today from the Oculus website or from Amazon for $199 for 32GB of storage. 64GB of storage is available for $249.

The launch of the Oculus Go comes just days after rumors suggesting Apple is working on its own high-powered virtual and augmented reality headset that would be untethered from a smartphone or a traditional computer.

Apple’s device will reportedly include 8K displays and a custom Apple-designed processor that’s more powerful than anything currently available. Apple is said to be aiming to launch its AR/VR product in 2020.

Related Roundup: Apple VR Project

Discuss this article in our forums

During the F8 Facebook Developer Conference this morning, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced the launch of the Oculus Go, the latest virtual reality headset from Oculus, which is owned by Facebook.

Priced at $199, the Oculus Go is Oculus' first standalone VR headset, which Zuckerberg said represents the "first really affordable standalone virtual reality headset."


It's shipping with more than 1,000 apps, and it features the "highest quality lenses and optics" that Oculus has ever built into a VR device. Given its affordable price point, Zuckerberg says that it'll be the "easiest way to get into VR," and that the company expects this is how many people will experience virtual reality for the first time.

Design wise, the Oculus Go looks similar to the Oculus Rift. It's a VR headset that fits over the eyes and attaches to the head with adjustable straps and breathable fabrics. It is a standalone device, which means it does not require a connection to a computer or a gaming system to operate.


Oculus Go features a 5.5-inch display with a 2560 x 1440 resolution (1280 x 1140 per eye) and it runs using Qualcomm's Snapdragon 821 processor.

There are spatial audio drivers built into the headset to provide immersive sound, but it also includes a 3.5mm headphone jack to allow users to connect headphones if desired. The included controller translates natural movements into VR using a touch surface and a trigger button.

In a review, The Verge said that while the Oculus Go is not the "flashiest or most high-tech" headset on the market, it's the "best that simple mobile VR has ever been."

The Oculus Go does not feature a full motion controller or inside-outside tracking to allow users to walk around rooms sans external cameras, and it can be likened to the Samsung Gear VR but as a dedicated piece of hardware. Looking through the Oculus Go "isn't that different" than using a Gear VR, says The Verge, and the app library is similar.
The Oculus Go makes improvements to the Gear VR, but its biggest achievement is just making mobile VR content easier to access. It's a reasonably priced device that doesn't require having a specific phone, doesn't force you to clumsily lock that phone into another piece of hardware, and doesn't drain the battery that you might need for more important tasks. And as long as VR is still a labor of love, anything that reduces the "labor" factor is great news.
In other virtual reality news, Zuckerberg says Facebook is working on a new feature that would allow customers to recreate their childhood homes using computer vision and referencing old photographs. Facebook plans to work on mapping out immersive spaces and "creating a real feeling of presence.


Later this month, Oculus will also launch Oculus TV, allowing Oculus Go users to watch entertainment from services like Hulu, ESPN, Showtime, and more.

The Oculus Go can be purchased today from the Oculus website or from Amazon for $199 for 32GB of storage. 64GB of storage is available for $249.

The launch of the Oculus Go comes just days after rumors suggesting Apple is working on its own high-powered virtual and augmented reality headset that would be untethered from a smartphone or a traditional computer.

Apple's device will reportedly include 8K displays and a custom Apple-designed processor that's more powerful than anything currently available. Apple is said to be aiming to launch its AR/VR product in 2020.

Related Roundup: Apple VR Project

Discuss this article in our forums

Apple Working on AR/VR Headset With 8K Displays and No Smartphone or Computer Tether

Apple is working on a powerful headset that will support both augmented reality and virtual reality applications, according to an inside source that spoke to CNET.

The headset, which is codenamed T288, features an 8K display for each eye that would …

Apple is working on a powerful headset that will support both augmented reality and virtual reality applications, according to an inside source that spoke to CNET.

The headset, which is codenamed T288, features an 8K display for each eye that would be untethered from either a computer or a smartphone.


Instead, it would connect to a "dedicated box" using a high-speed short-range wireless technology called 60GHz WiGig. The box would be powered by a custom 5-nanometer Apple processor that's "more powerful than anything currently available" and similar to the custom chips that Apple will use in future Macs. At the current time, the box resembles a PC tower, but it "won't be an actual Mac computer."
The future of VR is expected to be cordless devices -- and Apple wants to bring its trademark simplicity to the setup. The box would use a wireless technology called 60GHz WiGig, the person familiar with Apple's plans said. A second-generation version, called 802.11ay, would boost speeds and range and make the technology more attractive for high-end VR headsets that aren't tethered to computers.
Users will not need to install special cameras in a room to detect their location as with some available VR headsets. All of the technology will be built into the headset and the box.

Past rumors have suggested that Apple is working on a number of virtual and augmented reality prototypes using a secret research unit, but recent information has been specific to a set of augmented reality smart glasses. It is not clear if the smart glasses mentioned in previous rumors are the same as this new AR/VR headset.

Those rumors have suggested Apple is developing an augmented reality headset with a dedicated display, a built-in processor, and an "rOS" or reality operating system that's controlled using input methods like touch panels, voice activation, and head gestures.

Apple has been heavily focused on augmented reality with the launch of ARKit in iOS 11, and Apple CEO Tim Cook has said multiple times that he believes augmented reality is more important than virtual reality. Augmented reality, says Cook, is the "larger of the two" because it allows people to "be very present," but he has admitted that virtual reality has interesting use cases for education and gaming.

Apple is said to be aiming to launch the headset in 2020, but CNET's source warns that work on the device is in the early stages and plans could be changed or scrapped.

Related Roundup: Apple VR Project

Discuss this article in our forums

Apple Working With TSMC to Develop MicroLED Panels for Future Apple Watch and Augmented Reality Wearable Device

Apple has plans in place to develop MicroLED panels for both small-size and large-size devices, with Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) providing support for producing smaller form factor applications, which could include future Apple Watch models and AR wearables, according to DigiTimes senior analyst Luke Lin.


Apple is working with TSMC to develop micro LED panels on silicon-based backplanes for use in the Apple Watch and an augmented reality (AR) wearable device, Lin noted.

MicroLED panels use different light-emitting compounds than the current OLED displays and should help to make future devices slimmer, brighter, and less power-hungry. Citing sources in the upstream supply chain, Lin claims Apple is preparing two sizes of MicroLED panel for small devices. They are said to include a 1.3 to 1.4-inch panel for future Apple Watch iterations and a 0.7 to 0.8-inch panel for an AR wearable device, potentially AR glasses.

Lin also believes Apple is working on developing large-size MicroLED panels on TFT-based backplates for use in products much larger than those in its current MacBook lineup, although he offered no specifics on what they might be.

Based on Lin’s sources, the MicroLED panel destined for a future Apple Watch may enter mass production in the second half on 2018 or in 2019, which would suggest its use in Series 4 or 5 models. The large-size panel could see production in 2019 or later, while the panel for the AR device is yet to have a production schedule, according to the analyst.

The cost of the new MicroLED panels are said to be 400-600 percent higher than OLED panels used in the current Apple Watch. As such, Lin believes Apple will initially only use the MicroLED panel in future “top-of-the-line” versions of Apple Watch, although whether that refers specifically to iterations of the Apple Watch Edition remains unclear.

Apple is understood to own a manufacturing facility in Santa Clara, California, where it is designing and producing test samples of its own MicroLED displays, with a view to eventually replacing largely Samsung-made OLED displays currently used across its product range.

Apple’s interest in the technology was revealed in its acquisition of MicroLED firm LuxVue back in 2014 and previous reports have also claimed Apple will introduce MicroLED technology in the Apple Watch first, with some rumors pointing to that happening as soon as this year.

However, Bloomberg believes that it will likely be a few years before Apple’s MicroLED displays will appear in shipping products – perhaps two years for the Apple Watch and three to five years for the iPhone.

Buyer’s Guide: Apple Watch (Neutral)

Discuss this article in our forums

Apple has plans in place to develop MicroLED panels for both small-size and large-size devices, with Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) providing support for producing smaller form factor applications, which could include future Apple Watch models and AR wearables, according to DigiTimes senior analyst Luke Lin.


Apple is working with TSMC to develop micro LED panels on silicon-based backplanes for use in the Apple Watch and an augmented reality (AR) wearable device, Lin noted.
MicroLED panels use different light-emitting compounds than the current OLED displays and should help to make future devices slimmer, brighter, and less power-hungry. Citing sources in the upstream supply chain, Lin claims Apple is preparing two sizes of MicroLED panel for small devices. They are said to include a 1.3 to 1.4-inch panel for future Apple Watch iterations and a 0.7 to 0.8-inch panel for an AR wearable device, potentially AR glasses.

Lin also believes Apple is working on developing large-size MicroLED panels on TFT-based backplates for use in products much larger than those in its current MacBook lineup, although he offered no specifics on what they might be.

Based on Lin's sources, the MicroLED panel destined for a future Apple Watch may enter mass production in the second half on 2018 or in 2019, which would suggest its use in Series 4 or 5 models. The large-size panel could see production in 2019 or later, while the panel for the AR device is yet to have a production schedule, according to the analyst.

The cost of the new MicroLED panels are said to be 400-600 percent higher than OLED panels used in the current Apple Watch. As such, Lin believes Apple will initially only use the MicroLED panel in future "top-of-the-line" versions of Apple Watch, although whether that refers specifically to iterations of the Apple Watch Edition remains unclear.

Apple is understood to own a manufacturing facility in Santa Clara, California, where it is designing and producing test samples of its own MicroLED displays, with a view to eventually replacing largely Samsung-made OLED displays currently used across its product range.

Apple's interest in the technology was revealed in its acquisition of MicroLED firm LuxVue back in 2014 and previous reports have also claimed Apple will introduce MicroLED technology in the Apple Watch first, with some rumors pointing to that happening as soon as this year.

However, Bloomberg believes that it will likely be a few years before Apple's MicroLED displays will appear in shipping products – perhaps two years for the Apple Watch and three to five years for the iPhone.

Buyer's Guide: Apple Watch (Neutral)

Discuss this article in our forums