A R Spectacle, AR War and Tweet Supreme

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Nick Cotton Jun 16, 2017

Here’s the news we’re talking about around the Zbra Studios water cooler. We’ve provided key bullet points from each article for the speed readers out there. For those looking to dig in, click on the links for the full story.

Snap is developing a second version of Spectacles which may include augmented reality
By Jon Russell from TechCrunch
  • “The first set of Spectacles went on sale last year and are priced at $129.99. They allow their owner to take photos and videos which can then be posted to the Snapchat service. The idea is to give users a way to create and share different types of content.”
  • “It seems increasingly likely that Spectacles II will ship with augmented reality features built in. A major clue came last month when a Snap patent application for AR glasses was discovered by Mashable. The filing, dated November 2015, details how Snap plans to use a dual-glass arrangement to sense a user’s location and then beam digital content into the space around them.”
  • “While the device has captured the imagination of many, it hasn’t made a huge difference to Snap’s bottom line.”
Apple undercuts Facebook in the augmented reality platform war
By Josh Constine from TechCrunch
  • “Facebook’s grand vision for augmented reality was that it would make it easy for any developer to build and distribute an AR experience — as long as it lived inside Facebook’s app. But Apple has once again used its control of the mobile operating system to build a wider platform than Facebook can, this time with AR that lives inside developers’ own apps.”
  • “Facebook knows that sleek, capable, affordable AR glasses are still years away. Instead, it sees the phone camera as today’s AR device that already has massive scale. So at this year’s F8 in April, it launched the Facebook Camera Effects platform.”
  • “Since every iOS app can easily plug in AR features, Facebook’s camera platform loses some of its singular charm. If Apple had waited one more year to launch ARKit, or even just until the new iPhone and iOS 11 launch in September, it could have been stuck playing catch-up to Facebook’s AR dev community. Instead it seized the opportunity by launching its platform just six weeks after Facebook.”
By David Pierce From Wired
  • “Despite the changes, Twitter still feels like Twitter. And more than any one change, the redesign makes a statement about the platform: The look of the tweet button isn’t what makes Twitter, well, Twitter. Neither is the shape of the avatars, the shading of the icons, or even the character count.”
  • “In general, Twitter’s product philosophy now starts and ends with user feedback.”
  • “Twitter’s most existential issues concern abuse and trolling, which neater icons and a slicker interface won’t solve. But the app’s longstanding inscrutability—its status as either a lovable mess or an avoidable one, depending on who you ask—always has been a barrier to Twitter’s becoming the one true place to know what’s happening.”

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