Mark Zuckerberg made a surprise appearance on the world’s buzziest social network to talk about the future

facebook ceo mark zuckerberg
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg.

  • Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg appeared on a Clubhouse talk show on Thursday evening.
  • Zuckerberg appeared on The Good Times Show, a talk show on the buzzy new social networking app.
  • The show has attracted tech moguls including Tesla CEO Elon Musk and Robinhood CEO Vlad Tenev.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

The man in charge of the world’s biggest social network just joined the world’s buzziest new social network.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg created a username – “Zuck23” – and signed on to the new voice-chat-based. invite-only social app Clubhouse on Thursday night for an interview.

Like Tesla CEO Elon Musk before him, Zuckerberg jumped on Clubhouse to participate in “The Good Time Show,” a talk show based on Clubhouse.

Zuckerberg was on the show to discuss futuristic technology from Facebook’s Reality Labs group, which specializes in augmented reality, virtual reality, and other platforms believed to be the future of human-computer interaction.

To that end, Zuckerberg discussed the promise of AR/VR as it applies to remote work. In the next 5 to 10 years, according to Zuckerberg, half of Facebook’s staff could be working remotely on a permanent basis – regardless of global pandemics.

“We should be teleporting, not transporting, ourselves,” Zuckerberg said, according to a transcription from venture capitalist John Constine

Perhaps more notable than what Zuckerberg said on Clubhouse was his presence on the buzzy new social networking app – Facebook is notorious for replicating key features of its rivals through Facebook and Facebook’s subsidiaries. Instagram Stories, for instance, is largely a re-creation of a similar function on Snapchat. 

Aside from positive buzz, Clubhouse has been repeatedly criticized for its moderation issues that overwhelmingly impact Black people and people of color, Grit Daily reported. “On Clubhouse,” the report said, “there are no screenshots. There is no way to drag up old Clubhouse posts years later like a user might do on Twitter. There is no way to record conversations – meaning there is no way to prove that someone said anything controversial at all. There’s no path to accountability.”

Clubhouse’s key functionality is voice-based communication: Users essentially join instanced group voice chat rooms, which other social networks don’t offer. The app is currently invite-only, but it’s expected to open up to everyone in the near future.

Got a tip? Contact Business Insider senior correspondent Ben Gilbert via email (bgilbert@businessinsider.com), or Twitter DM (@realbengilbert). We can keep sources anonymous. Use a non-work device to reach out. PR pitches by email only, please.

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Google has shut down work on 3D painting app Tilt Brush, the latest in a string of VR disappointments

Tilt Brush
A 3D artwork created in Tilt Brush

  • Google has confirmed it is halting development of 3D painting app Tilt Brush. 
  • The tech giant said it would make the game’s code available online. 
  • But the move represents another blow to Google’s virtual and augmented reality aspirations. 
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Google has shut down its development of 3D painting app Tilt Brush, marking the latest in a string of virtual and augmented reality disappointments for the firm. 

The tech giant acquired the firm behind Tilt Brush, Skillman & Hackett, for an undisclosed sum in 2015, praising its “innovative approach to 3D painting.” At one point, it hired Tilt Brush Artists in Residence.

But on Tuesday, Google confirmed in a blog post that it would halt development of the product, instead making its source code available on code-hosting platform Github. 

“As we continue to build helpful and immersive AR experiences, we want to continue supporting the artists using Tilt Brush by putting it in your hands,” the blog read. “This means open sourcing Tilt Brush, allowing everyone to learn how we built the project, and encouraging them to take it in directions that are near and dear to them.”

Google released Tilt Brush for the HTC Vive virtual reality headset in 2016, and the program later became available on Facebook-owned Oculus Rift. The program allowed users to create colourful, 3D paintings and animations.

 

Despite billions of dollars of investments from big tech firms, virtual reality is still struggling to break into the mainstream, and for most remains a novelty rather than a mature entertainment platform.

The Tilt Brush decision follows Google’s decision to shut down a string of similar ventures, including VR headset Daydream, VR video production studio Spotlight Stories, and 3D content platform Poly

A few weeks ago, Patrick Hackett, one of the co-creators of Tilt Brush, confirmed he was leaving Google in order to join I-Illusions, the games studio behind popular VR title Space Pirate Trainer.

“To my #TiltBrush community: You’ve been inspiring and encouraging and wonderful and I love you,” he wrote. “I’ve made so many great friends over these years and am indebted to you forever.” 

Insider approached Google for comment. 

Are you a current or former Googler or DeepMinder with more to share? You can contact this reporter securely using the encrypted messaging app Signal (+447801985586) or email (mcoulter@businessinsider.com). Reach out using a non-work device.

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Apple’s first-ever headset will reportedly be a pricey device that paves the way for an eventual iPhone replacement

Tim Cook
Apple CEO Tim Cook has spoken about the potential of augmented reality in the past.

  • Apple is working on a VR-AR headset that is expected to be released as soon as 2022, Bloomberg reports.
  • The headset will be an expensive device that paves the way for more mainstream AR glasses from the iPhone company in upcoming years, according to the report.
  • Apple has been exploring VR and AR technology for years, and Tim Cook has described augmented reality as promising.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Apple’s first major new product since the Apple Watch will be an expensive headset designed to set the stage for augmented reality glasses, according to a report from Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman.

The headset is expected to be released as soon as 2022 and will go head-to-head with other devices like Facebook’s Oculus and Sony’s PlayStation VR, sources familiar with the matter told Gurman. 

Apple has been exploring VR and AR devices and software in recent years.  In 2020, the company added LiDAR sensors to the iPhone 12 Pro, which made the smartphone more adept at performing augmented-reality tasks. 

The VR headset will set the stage for a thinner, sleeker pair of smart glasses that could replace the iPhone in about a decade, The Information reported last year.

Apple’s initial headset release will operate primarily as a virtual-reality device, displaying an “all-encompassing 3-D digital environment” for users to do anything from game to watch videos or simply chat, according to the report. Gurman says the first headset’s augmented-reality capabilities will likely be “more limited” as the company continues to develop the technology.

Read more: Marketers are in high demand at tech companies – here’s what companies like Apple, Microsoft, and Airbnb pay employees, from product marketers to operations analysts

The headset will reportedly be battery operated much like Facebook’s Oculus Quest and will not require a gaming console like PlayStation’s PSVR headset, though Apple’s product is expected to be much more expensive than its competitors which below $1,000.

Apple’s first headset will likely not be a product for the masses for some time

According to Gurman, some sources say the company may sell only one of the devices daily at each of its retail locations. If that’s the case, the product would firmly be on the niche end of Apple’s product lineup, closer to the unit sales of high-end devices like the Mac Pro, which starts at $6,000.

The VR headset would be a gamble on Apple’s part into a fairly new and undeveloped technology that has yet to gain meaningful traction with mainstream consumers.

The company’s main focus in developing the headset seems to be as a prototype, leading up to an eventual pair of AR glasses – a device that would be much more mainstream, Gurman reports. 

The headset faces several hurdles before it can be released

Hardware companies in the VR and AR space often talk about eventual versions of their product that will more closely resemble traditional glasses, but such a device with compelling AR and VR features is a complex undertaking that utilizes bleeding-edge tech. So far, no company has pulled it off.

There’s also the question of whether enough people will actually buy such a device. Google’s Glass product was launched in 2013 and failed just two years later. But while wearable technology for the face can be a tough sell, Facebook has begun to see promising signs with the Oculus Quest 2.

Another key part of convincing people to buy such a device is the content that runs on it. Companies like Facebook and Valve have spent many millions funding the development of VR experiences.

Apple has been known to take on similarly ambitious products that have either flopped or never reached the market, including Ping an attempt to turn iTunes into a social network, the AirPower charging mat, and Apple’s Pippin gaming console.

But Apple CEO Tim Cook is bullish on augmented-reality, and appears to be pushing Apple into new categories in recent years.

In addition to new Apple Watch models, leaning into the services business, and launching high-end Apple headphones, Apple has also reportedly been working on a self-driving electric car since 2015. The project, codenamed “Project Titan,” has faced delays, and is not expected to be released for at least five years.

See also: The ‘Apple Car’ would wreck Apple, and Tesla’s incredibly volatile history shows why

Outside of entering a new frontier with technology that is still evolving, the headset also faces several hurdles before it’s ready for launch, according to Gurman. Components used in the headset reportedly include powerful chips along with high-resolution displays, as well as a fan to cool the headset down. These additions have led the headset to become heavy enough to warrant concerns of possible neck strains, according to the report.

An Apple spokesperson did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Read Gurman’s full reporting on the headset over at Bloomberg.

Read the original article on Business Insider

How Google is Preparing for Fully Immersive AR Environments

Since its inception, one of the biggest use cases of AR on mobile remains the ability to play with your appearance whether through clothes, accessories, or makeup. Snapchat and Instagram are no stranger to this trend, and now Google is making its mark in the space with its own update.

Specifically, the tech giant tapped ModiFace and Perfect Corp, two companies highly involved in AR beauty technologies, to deliver a feature that gives online shoppers a way to virtually try on makeup without having to deviate from their Search results.

Separately, Google teamed up with Snapchat to put an immersive twist on its ‘Year in Search’ trends overview. Here’s a high-level overview of the latest.

Bringing the benefits of in-store shopping to mobile

Similar to YouTube’s AR feature for makeup try-on launched last year, Google’s latest push utilizes top brands including L’Oréal, Estée Lauder, MAC Cosmetics, Black Opal, and Charlotte Tilbury allowing consumers to try on a variety of makeup products without having to set foot in a store to test the look and feel.

Here’s how it works: When a user searches for a particular lipstick or eyeshadow product such as— “L’Oréal’s Infallible Paints Metallic Eyeshadow,” — they’ll be directed to the virtual try-on shopping experience at the top of their search results. From there, they can browse a library of photos of models representing a range of skin tones to help compare the shades and find the right product for them

“Seventy-three percent of U.S. shoppers are planning to buy online,” said Archana Kannan, Group Product Manager, Shopping and author of the announcement regarding this past holiday season’s expectations. “There are plenty of perks with online shopping, from the convenience of doing it from your couch to the multitude of options right at your fingertips.”

Details aside — the key takeaway here is that more than ever consumers are finding out about products from social media, then clicking through direct links to retailers to make purchases or even transacting directly on social platforms like Facebook or Instagram without leaving the app. A big driver of this shift? Influencers.

Endorsements from experts and enthusiasts

As part of the effort, Google is taking into consideration how consumers ultimately make their decision and a big trend as of late is recommendations from trusted sources like influencers.

In this vein, the company is unveiling recommendations from beauty, apparel and home and garden enthusiasts and experts, including online influencers, when a consumer browses Google Shopping on their phone. For example, hear the latest from professional makeup artist Jonet about makeup looks, or get holiday gift ideas from Homesick Candles.

“Sometimes it’s helpful to get recommendations and see how products work for other people,” explained Kannan. “Once you’ve found a product you love, you’ll be able to easily shop these recommendations.” This feature comes from Shoploop, a product formerly part of Area 120, Google’s in-house incubator.

The ‘Year in Search’ AR experience

The end of the year always seems to be nostalgic and Google and Snapchat are leaning into this in an innovative way. A new Google Lens accessible through Snapchat gives users an interactive walk down memory lane of all the key events of 2020 and noteworthy insights.

For instance, clicking on a photo of a Black Lives Matter protest highlights that compared to the previous year, searches of the term were up five-fold. Further, searches for “protest near me” were made in every state in the country for the first time ever.

“As 2020 comes to an end, Snap and Google have partnered to bring Google’s iconic “Year in Search” story to life with an immersive augmented reality experience. This marks the first time Google’s “Year in Search” has been brought to life in AR, and the campaign’s debut on Snapchat.”

Additionally, Snapchat also reports that for the first time Google will run its “Year in Search” video as ads on the platform.

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