Field of view: Apple could be working on a headset that tracks facial expressions

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The week in AR and VR
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Welcome to Field of view, the place where we give you a quick rundown of the latest news in VR and AR.

As always, there's plenty to dive into, with a new patent from Apple surfacing, fresh information surrounding the third generation of Google Glass and a cross-compatiblity update for Oculus Quest owners.

Buying guides: Best VR headsets in 2019 | Top AR smartglasses you can buy

Let's not delay any further, read on to discover everything you may have missed in the worlds of VR and AR this week.

Apple's new patent for MR facial recognition

Field of view: Apple could be working on a headset that tracks facial expressions

Apple has been granted a new patent - uncovered first by Variety - for a mixed reality headset that could look to track the eyes and facial expressions of the wearer.

The filing, titled "Display System Having Sensors", details a system whereby the headset would feature built-in sensors to bring "3D virtual views of a user's environment augmented with virtual content".

Essentially, these sensors would work to capture the user's position, orientation and motion, while also tracking areas of the face, such as the eyebrows, lower jaw and mouth. It won't just capture user information, either, with environment data, including lighting and depth, also proposed in the headset.

As with all patents, there's no guarantee that this technology will ever find its way into any potential Apple headset, though the fact the company continues to explore patents in the area (with this particular one filed very recently, in March 2019) is interesting in itself.

Google Glass 3 details surface

Field of view: Apple could be working on a headset that tracks facial expressions

Google Glass isn't going away anytime soon - and a new report from DigiTimes indicates the company already has the third generation in development.

Details are naturally scarce at this early stage, though the outlet suggests the smartglasses will offer the most lightweight and svelte design yet. Glass, though, which has undergone somewhat of a resurgence in industry circles since the infamous first iteration, will reportedly see its battery life suffer as a result of the new look.

Catch up: The latest Google Glass smartglasses

In between charges, Glass 3 could allegedly offer as little as 30 minutes of action. That's a big deviation from the first and second generation, which brought a few hours of use on a single charge. That could be due to the arrival of Pegatron, who will be building the glasses alongside Quantra, the previous sole supplier of Glass.

Expect to her more whispers over the coming months, as Google looks to prepare the next generation of its smartglasses.


Oculus Quest and Rift S get update

Field of view: Apple could be working on a headset that tracks facial expressions

Oculus CTO John Carmack has confirmed that the company's Oculus Quest will receive support for Go games and apps before the end of the year.

It's not yet confirmed whether the entire Oculus Go library will make its way onto Quest headsets, though the move is possible, according to Carmack, due to "a compatibility layer that makes Quest report as a Go and emulate the Go controller for old apps."

Wareable verdict: Oculus Quest review

"We will be working with developers to test against the emulator, but I hope some will be inspired enough to convert older apps to proper 'hybrid' Go/Quest apps with explicit support," he continued.

We don't yet know exactly when the library will begin to trickle onto Quest headsets, but, considering it's a fairly small base at present, we imagine the upcoming support will be welcome news among owners.

Try this: Magic Leap's 'Undersea'

Magic Leap One owners will soon be able to bring a coral reef right to their living room, with a new experience, 'Undersea', premiering at Los Angeles' Siggraph Conference.

As described by the mixed reality startup, Undersea is a "room-scale, Spatial Computing experience through which users can relax and observe underwater life in a dynamically generated, coral reef biome. Distinct vistas and creatures, presented in a photo-real art style, provide an opportunity to feel a sense of presence and connection between the creatures, the environment, and the user."

It's not yet clear when the experience will be released publicly, but we expect it will land before the end of 2019.


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