Apple Met with AR Glasses Component Suppliers at CES

Apple met with suppliers who produce components required for augmented reality glasses at CES this week, according to a new report.

That tidbit of information was buried in a story published by Bloomberg on Friday. Reportedly, Apple representatives met with firms that manufacture the “nuts and bolts” required to make AR glasses a reality, but the publication gave no additional information about the meeting, what was discussed, or which companies Apple met with.

Along with Apple, Bloomberg noted that representatives from Google and Facebook also met with AR parts suppliers at CES.

Despite the lack of details about the meeting, Bloomberg’s report is yet another piece of evidence that corroborates previous rumors of an augmented reality platform under development at Cupertino. Those rumors have been swirling the tech industry for years, but the pace of reports has picked up in the last few months.

Apple Glasses

Last November, Bloomberg reported that Apple was working on a “breakthrough product” that could eventually leapfrog the iPhone as the company’s flagship device. That device would be a standalone augmented reality platform that would have its own display, processor and even a custom operating system internally dubbed “rOS” (for reality operating system).

At the time, Apple’s engineers were reportedly refining how a customer would interact with the AR glasses and its OS, exploring everything from hand gesture-based controls to touch panels and Siri voice activation. Presumably, the company has made progress on the UI and UX elements of the product by now.

Engineers were also testing prototypes of a wide variety of applications, including virtual meeting rooms and 360-degree video playback. When it launches, the AR headset could even have its own version of the App Store.

Apple’s rOS team, which also worked on the company’s ARKit platform for iOS, is also said to be working on several other projects under the internal code name of “T288.” But if the reports are true, then it’s worth venturing that an AR product could the most important project they’re developing.

Supplier Reports

But while Apple’s engineering teams are hard at work developing the software and operating system, Apple has also made recent modes to built out the hardware for its augmented reality device.

A supply chain report published by Nikkei in November suggested that Apple had tapped one of its metal casing suppliers, Catcher Technologies, to help it produce the frames for its AR device.

Also in November, another Apple supplier hinted that a breakthrough AR device was on the horizon. Quanta Computer, which assembles MacBooks and Apple Watches for Cupertino, announced that it was working on the optical technologies for an AR product.

Again, we’re not sure what suppliers Apple met with at CES this week, but the fact that they did suggests that the company is already laying the groundwork for the production of its AR glasses.

Apple Glasses Release Date

The timing of such a device hitting the market is still a bit hazy at this point. Sources familiar with Apple’s plans, market analysts, and supplier comments all seem to suggest a tentative launch date in 2019 or 2020.

Bloomberg reported that Apple would have the underlying technology ready by 2019, but added that the actual device would be unlikely to hit shelves until 2020. With recent reports, however, it’s certainly seeming like an Apple AR headset is on the way — and could hit shelves sooner than later.

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Suppliers of iPhone X components report lowering orders

Analysts have been reporting strong growth for the iPhone X, but that is contradicted by reports from several sources close to the component supply chain. The launch push is over – limited by a shortage of difficult to manufacture components, shipping times quickly shot up to 4-5 weeks. Yields improved and the wait times dropped to 1-2 weeks. But now that the early adopter rush is over, it seems that demand is lagging behind the predictions. With demand for key component not growing as strong as expected, the sources are concerned that Apple may reduce its iPhone X shipment target for…

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Europe’s Power Suppliers Plan to Go Carbon-Neutral “Well Before” 2050

Carbon Neutral Continent

Eurelectric, a major trade body which represents 3,500 power companies throughout Europe has made a crucial announcement regarding the path toward carbon neutrality. The electricity industry group has announced that it has accelerated its aim to supply carbon-neutral energy to “well before” 2050. This reiteration of commitment was laid out in the group’s new long-term vision.

Eurelectric aims to achieve a “competitive reliable carbon-neutral electricity mix” before the middle of the century. The statement supports initiatives that will ensure a “fair transition” to allow for the effective management of geographical and social impacts resulting from the transition.

Image source: Wikimedia Commons

This transition involves the investment in clean power, supporting the development and implementation of smarter grid technology, and the reduction of emissions from other sectors like heating and transport. Alistair Philips-Davies, vice president at Eurelectric and CEO of SSE declared that “The investment required in clean electricity and transition-enabling technologies is huge. This statement reflects our full commitment to invest in innovation, to build new cross-sector business models, and ensure that electricity keeps creating value in decades to come,” in a statement. The commitment also calls on policy-makers to do their part in making this vision a reality.

Moving Europe Forward

More businesses have begun to embrace renewable energy as its prices continue to drop and building new renewable-energy-generating operations are becoming cheaper than maintaining existing fossil fuel burning plants. Efforts to move toward cleaner energy allow cost savings, especially in the long-run, across the board.

There is no exact timeline for the new outlook to complete its goals. However, this plan is an update on a previous initiative announced in 2009 which set the middle of the century as the goal. The new plan accelerates this goal and the result of this could lead to a cleaner Europe years before we previously thought possible.

The post Europe’s Power Suppliers Plan to Go Carbon-Neutral “Well Before” 2050 appeared first on Futurism.

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Cisco and Siemens come out on top as leading smart city suppliers

Cisco and Siemens lead the list of smart city suppliers in a new report prepared by Navigant Research.

The study, titled “Navigant Research Leaderboard: Smart City Suppliers”, examined the strategy and execution of 16 prominent smart city suppliers with the faculty to provide leadership on extensive smart city projects across various operational and service areas.

The list was prepared by taking 10 criteria into consideration: vision; go-to-market strategy; partners; product strategy; geographic reach; market presence; sales & marketing; product performance and features; product integration; and staying power.

Eric Woods, research director at Navigant Research, said: “Cisco and Siemens’ leader position is a reflection of how both companies have continued to evolve and adapt their city offering. They have also shown an integrated perspective on urban innovation, strong sector-specific solutions, and a commitment to continued thought leadership and city engagement.”

The smart city solutions market globally is anticipated to hit $ 94.2 billion by 2026, from $ 40.1bn in 2017, said Navigant Research. Smart city suppliers who are hoping to be successful in the market can follow the footsteps of the market contenders who are focusing on the development of IoT for urban innovation.

Elsewhere, Cisco has added Cisco Spark Assistant, artificial intelligence-powered voice support for workplace, as its most recent innovation on the Cisco Spark platform. According to Cisco, the Cisco Spark Assistant is the globe’s first enterprise-ready voice assistant intended to help executives in having “great” meetings. The Cisco Spark Assistant will be released in phases, effective early 2018. Initially, the AI-powered voice assistant will be available on the Cisco Spark Room Series portfolio.

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