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Big XR News From Microsoft, US Army, Apple, Pico

This week is exciting for XR headset audiences. Pico and Microsoft rolled out new headset innovations to supply enterprise and military-grade immersive solutions.

The G3 from Pico and IVAS 1.2 from Microsoft highlight the immersive industries continued influence as serious enterprise solutions.

Meanwhile, headset enthusiasts are awaiting Apple’s debut in the headset market. The firm’s efforts may halt as Apple drops a technology partner, switching to a fresh partner.

The XR headset market is ramping up as other firms like Meta, Varjo, and HTC VIVE develop competitive solutions, with XR innovators taking steps to refine their developmental foundations today.

Microsoft Introduces Dynamics 365 XR Guides

Microsoft announced on April 5 that it would add Dynamics 365 Guides XR tools to HoloLens 2. This will allow businesses to use MR to improve their operations and training. 

Dynamics 365 Guides is a cloud-based platform that allows businesses to distribute interactive digital instructions to train employees on new procedures or troubleshoot problems. 

The new XR tools for Dynamics 365 Guides help enterprise end-users create instructions for MR distribution. Employees can see an immersive visualisation of instructions overlaid in their real-world environment.

The XR tools also allow businesses to collaborate on instructions in real time. Multiple employees can use XR Dynamics 365 Guides to collaborate on a project simultaneously.

Microsoft also optimised Dynamics 365 Guides for HoloLens 2. The firm is debuting Dynamics 365 Guides for HoloLens 2, an application to find and launch instructions simply. 

With its XR tools for Dynamics 365 Guides, Microsoft is trying to help enterprise end-users create and use MR instructions to improve workplace operations and training. 

Using the Dynamics 365 XR tools on HoloLens 2, clients can improve training, increase efficiency, and improve safety with hands-free visualisations.

Updated US Army IVAS Headset May Roll Out in 2025

The United States Army and Microsoft are set to roll out version 1.2 of its Integrated Visual Augmentation System (IVAS) headset in 2025.

IVAS version 1.2 will include a lighter form factor, custom controller, and colour-coded navigational visualizations.

The United States Army is testing the IVAS 1,2 headset before its release. Furthermore, the United States Army two is holding two rounds of development testing for IVAS 1.2, with soldiers providing extensive optimization feedback. Microsoft’s headset also underwent testing in a series of ongoing trials.

The Army recently purchased 5,000 v1.0 devices and 5,000 v1.1 headsets that Microsoft will deliver in 2024.

Microsoft Teams Gains Snap Lens

Microsoft has integrated Snap Lenses into Teams. This will allow users to add AR experiences to their meetings. 

 The first Snap Lens available is called “World Lenses.” It allows users to place 3D objects in their environment. 

Other Snap Lenses will be added in the future. This integration is part of Microsoft’s efforts to make Teams more engaging and immersive. 

Some benefits of using Snap Lenses in Teams include making meetings more fun and engaging, helping users learn and collaborate more effectively and creating more immersive experiences for customers and partners. 

Additionally, Microsoft is making dialling even more adaptable for employees by removing the requirement for a video. A worker who cannot share a video feed due to a poor internet connection or working environment can still participate by utilising immersive features and audio-only dial-in options.

Apple Drops Pegatron

This week, reports emerged that Apple dropped Pegatron as a manufacturing partner for its upcoming MR headset. Reports suggest Apple is now working with Luxshare Precision Industry Co. to design its upcoming device. 

Pegatron has years of experience working with Apple on its prototype MR headset since 2018. Although, the company has reportedly struggled to reach Apple’s high standards.

Alternatively, Luxshare is a relatively new player in the MR space. Still, it has a strong track record of manufacturing high-quality products for other major tech companies, such as Apple and Xiaomi. 

The decision to drop Pegatron and choose Luxshare is a sign that Apple is serious about its MR headset. The company has been working hard on developing a high-quality device for years. Some reports indicate that Apple plans to launch it in 2023. The MR headset is expected to be a high-end device competing with the Meta Quest 2. 

The news of Apple’s decision to drop Pegatron is a blow to the Taiwanese company. Pegatron is one of the world’s largest contract manufacturers and was a critical supplier to Apple for many years. However, rivals like Luxshare are providing competition in the component development space, leading to Apple’s switch. 

The decision to drop Pegatron is also a sign of Apple’s growing confidence in Luxshare in meeting its high standards for the MR headset. Moreover, the Chinese company is a relatively new player in the MR space, but it has a strong track record of manufacturing high-quality products for other major tech companies.

The immersive industry expects Apple’s MR headset launch to be a significant event in the landscape. The device could also become a high-end product competing with the Meta Quest 2, which may accelerate the growth of the MR market. 

Pico Debut G3 VR Headset for Enterprise

This week, the Pico G3 virtual reality headset was unveiled at the Laval Virtual conference in France. The new device was made specifically for business customers by Pico.

Oliver Wöhler, Pico’s Enterprise Lead for EMEA, said that the company’s vision to provide enterprise users with immersive tools for growing a business, creating new opportunities, and achieving workplace goals is exemplified by the G3 VR headset.

The G3 VR headset includes features such as a 4K resolution, 3DoF, 72Hz/90Hz adjustable frame rate, Snapdragon XR2 processor,  and Qualcomm Quick Charge 3.0 battery. Additionally, Pico is integrating ARM Trustzone technology to ensure user security.

The G3 VR headset, which Bytedance owns, is available for pre-order for £399. The firm will deliver the item toward the beginning of May.



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