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  • What's Apple's Vision Pro killer app?

    twolf2919 said:
    The article does mention use cases such as  the possibility of  immersive attendance to live events.  But isn't the point of attending a live event that you're there 'live' with thousands of fellow attendees?  It's a social thing!  How many people would give up this social aspects of attending an event - and pay $3,500 for the 'privilege'?  It's a pretty dystopian scenario, if you ask me.    The same goes for the argument that the Vision Pro replaces a large-screen TV - it conveniently forgets that watching TV is, for many, a social activity.
    There is an atmosphere with live events that would be missing in the virtual world (no touch/smell/temperature/food) but live events have downsides too. Venues have limited space and most people are located far from the action:

    Not everyone can travel internationally to get to the venue (plane ticket + venue ticket + hotel = $2k+). Venues can put a 4K/8K camera up with a 360 view in a good location and the feed can stream to millions of people who would be able to independently look around. This isn't unique to Vision Pro but it has the best visuals and tracking so it will feel more like being there.

    I think digital humans will be a good feature of this device. Photoreal characters will be able to walk around in the same room with realistic voices:

    Couple this with generative AI and it will be possible to interact with a digital human. The character can also be controlled by someone remotely.

    For video content, people watch TV together but in a cinema the lights are out. Plus Vision Pro is mixed reality so you still see people around you. It's also fully 3D, unlike TV or cinema.

    ARKit has been used for a few demos with iOS devices but you have to hold the device to see what's going on, this will be using hands on Vision Pro:

    It's expensive for multiple people to have these just now. If Vision Pro was $1k or less, a lot of people would be less skeptical about its usefulness. A family of 4 can each have an iPad for under $1,500 total vs $14,000 for a Vision Pro each. If it was more affordable, a family could watch a virtual 3D cinema in their home.

    It's not clear yet how well Vision Pro will suit kids, headsets are quite bulky on them and they break things easily:

    Even a $500 headset getting smashed on the ground is expensive let alone $3500. The price will come down as the component cost comes down and I think the most popular use case will be movies primarily and then games, fitness, digital humans (OnlyFans, fashion, conversation etc) and virtual events.

    The sunglasses form factor would be more comfortable for most people but this would lose out on image quality, not be able to do opaque surfaces properly:

    I expect these devices will aim to improve quality to rival headsets while headsets try to reduce bulk and cost. By around 2026 all of these devices will be converging into a comfortable, affordable, high quality wearable.
  • Apple TV+ may bundle with Paramount+ to cut subscriber losses

    I think an ad-supported tier would reduce churn more than bundling.  But these are both probably the future of streaming.
    Ads reduce the quality of the experience so much but if people aren't willing to pay then it would keep them viewing. The 30 second ads in iOS games are tedious, especially when they repeat the same ones.

    Another option could be a credit system that works across streaming providers. People would subscribe to get tokens per month.

    Say someone has a $10/month plan, they get 1000 tokens. They'd be able to open Netflix without a Netflix account and watch what they have and it would charge some tokens. If you watch an episode of a new TV show, it may take 50 tokens per episode. An old TV series can take 10 tokens per episode.

    When the tokens run out, people can top them up or jump to a higher subscription tier and tokens can be shared with family members without having to add new viewers to accounts.

    They can be used on Youtube to get ad-free playback, Disney+ when a new movie or show is released etc.

    This may be a downside for some platforms in that if you don't watch, you don't pay anything but this is the case with an ad service too. People can also watch ads to accumulate tokens. I'd guess an ad view would be worth around $0.02 so it would need a fair amount of ads to build up tokens and a lot of people would rather pay.

    For young people with no income, they can be on family plans or gifted tokens.
  • Steam ending support for Macs running macOS Mojave and earlier

    cia said:
    Portal, Portal 2, Peggle, Peggle Nights, Bioshock Infinite.  The only reason I still have an old machine working is to play these games. The fact the developers won't update the games is already a pain, now Steam is killing support on their end also?

    These aren't no name games either.

    You can't even buy an updated version anywhere for any of these games.  They are literally killing them unless you have a old machine around dedicated to just these.
    They aren't quite killing them, they are old enough games that they run pretty well in virtualization/emulation software.

    Apple deprecating OpenGL was a massive roadblock for a lot of developers. Having to port to Metal is no small feat and developers can't do months-long overhauls of old games for a single digit percent of players. Valve said they dropped support due to Mac players being less than 1% of active players.

    Not to mention some of the companies don't exist any more. Irrational Games that made Bioshock isn't around any more. The publisher would have to put together a whole new development team.

    The good news is that Apple seems committed to Metal and this is why Windows games have such long support life because of DirectX so new games on Metal should be supported for a long time and we're not going above 64-bit. ARM 64 should be the final/forever platform for Apple. While it would be nice to see native versions of classic games migrate to this long-term supported format, with the way GPUs have been progressing, these old games will run smoothly in compatibility software.

    Worst case, it's possible to by a cheap PC handheld device and stream the output to the Mac:

    $600 and that will handle any games that aren't native on Mac going back 30 years. Dock it somewhere and stream to the Mac system.
  • Boy petitions Apple to change 'nerd face' emoji

    Real nerd:

    Apple's version nails it as usual:

    Other versions are more kind like WhatsApp:

    but the point of the emoji is to represent the message clearly. When you see the image, you're supposed to immediately think that's a nerd. That's the whole point of emoji existing, there's no point in sharing ambiguous emoji so people wonder what it means and people have to explain it.

    Smiling person with glasses - is it a happy father looking over his first born child? Is it someone shortsighted watching a football game where his team is about to score? This version cannot be used the way the nerd emoji is currently used.

    Apple's version - that's a nerd, looking like a nerd, acting like a nerd. Clear, obvious, nailed it.
  • Apple Vision Pro followup expected to be a more affordable, cut-down model

    But I wouldn’t expect them to compromise on the display. If you sell it on the strength of the incredible display quality and the OS then it would seem unwise to bring out a cheaper version that takes the main features of the device and diminishes the experience.
    It would still be a step up over what's available due to the motion tracking and software and it's really the only option for there being a cheaper model.

    The old Macs introduced Retina displays at the high-end before they filtered down to the entry level.

    Millions of people currently use headsets with 2K resolution because that's what's affordable. It may mean that text-based tasks aren't as feasible like typing a lot of text but the other experiences like movies would be ok. It also gives a lower entry point for more developers to make content for the platform.

    The displays could also remain high resolution but with a cheaper panel type than OLED. The following company makes a custom display type, CLPL, and can sell dual 4K for ~$1000 without controllers:

    HDR video wouldn't look as nice, lower contrast ratio but it would offer the same interaction experience. Vision Pro would be an upsell like the Macbook Pro with XDR display and higher spec.

    Vision = 8GB/256GB/4K IPS = $1999
    Vision Pro = 16GB/1TB/4K Micro-OLED/EyeSight = $3499

    At the launch event, people were enthusiastic about the product:

    but not the entry price, this was a worse reaction than the $999 display stand:

    Most people don't have $3500 disposable income for this kind of product. Even $2k is a stretch but low enough for significantly more people to build a userbase.