This is Apple's first foray into virtual reality | Techno stream

This is Apple’s first foray into virtual reality

29 Oct 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Apple Doesn’t Get That U2 Is Lame as Hell.

After staying relatively quiet on the future of virtual reality, Apple has made its first foray into the space via a 360-degree U2 music video made available on the Vrse app.When Apple took its first public adventure into virtual reality, the company needed a subject that represented the bright, infinite possibilities of this new medium.Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) has rolled out with its first ever virtual reality project through the company’s Apple Music platform to present U2’s latest “Song For Someone” music video.

Well, it seems now is the right time to show off something VR-related, and to do so, the company has called-upon the help of its favorite band in the world, U2. The new video comprises 360 degrees of footage of the band’s performance alongside snippets from other artists performing the song in unofficial video clips. We weren’t invited to any promotional efforts to do with this – no surprise there – but other outfits were, and they say that a heavily painted bus is going around the country encouraging people to insert themselves into a virtual world where Bono, The Edge, Matt and Ken are viewable in an inescapable 360-degrees. The bus is clearly labeled as a partnership between U2 and Apple Music, and it appears that the inside of the bus is decked out with iPads and Macs advertising the music video and larger experience.

Last fall, Apple got into hot water after forcing an iTunes download of the band’s latest album to user accounts, which to this day still seems like a baffling move. Apple and U2 have also been working together to ensure that U2 fans at the band’s current European tour can experience the video’s content following the roll out of the “Experience Bus” venture. Perhaps Bono is trying The Manchurian Candidate approach to building a fan base, but perhaps we are cynics who despise popular music and promotional activity.

It’s a pretty classic, if not above-average, VR experience, but is made far more interesting by the Apple Music branding featured at the beginning of the video. As part of a new promotion, Apple is beginning to setup an “Experience Bus” outside of U2 shows where fans can strap on an Oculus headset and don a pair of Beats headphones (of course) to to become immersed in a jam session. When asked what the company’s involvement means for its future plans, however, the streaming service’s head of content, Larry Jackson, would only give a “no comment.” Jackson, though, did allow that Apple’s support for the piece “signals and symbolizes something,” adding that Apple Music is already working on a similar partnership with Vrse to make a “post-apocalyptic action film” in VR for the band Muse. The move will help Apple to use the Experience Bus as a promotional platform for its other variants which are enabled to support VR features, and help it to establish a secure place in VR supporting technology markets.

But that could be just the beginning. “You’re on the phone, you’re connected to everything else on the phone,” Milk says. “Why can’t one app play with another app nicely?” (The answer to this question may lie in Apple’s recent hunt for a developer to “create high performance apps that integrate with virtual reality systems for prototyping and user testing.”) There’s no reason that VR running on smartphones—like Vrse’s app does using Google Cardbard—couldn’t link people out to any number of things their iPhone. It’s unclear if anyone can simply go experience it now, or if it has to be done at these events (it seems to be the latter.) For those with VR capabilities (or even those without), there are numerous videos to take in on YouTube. With the company’s decision to partner up with the popular music band, there are high chances that Apple may be able to steadily expand its interest in VR videos for other artists as well.

Less popular was U2’s release of their album “Songs of Innocence,” a free album that’s release was announced onstage by Tim Cook and the band last September. The album was welcomed by U2 fans, but managed to piss off many of the 26 million people who downloaded the album, many of which unknowingly had the album automatically loaded into their libraries thanks to certain iCloud settings being enabled. The company’s new-found focus on expanding its services into the new virtual reality market may prove to be successful after the U2 Experience Bus venture. By using media icons to represent its music platform and VR investment; Apple’s promotional campaign may help the company get an edge over other VR-based agencies. In a report released on October 29, Oppenheimer downgraded Anadarko Petroleum Corporation (NYSE:APC) stock from Outperform to a Perform rating, after company’s third quarter of fiscal 2015 (3QFY15) earnings release.

U2 has clearly been a partner that Apple feels comfortable launching new initiatives with so it wouldn’t be surprising to see Apple Music continue helping produce VR content with other select artists in the future. It was rumored a few months ago that Apple might be working on an augmented reality headset following their acquisition of AR startup Metaio earlier this summer, though to me this suggests that they are more likely looking towards AR technologies for the rumored Apple car. He’d just gotten notes from the band on the next round of edits to the video, had likely already received more email than most of us get in a whole day—including one about doing a second TED Talk in 2016—and was trying to leave for the first of many meetings of the day, including one with Sony’s president of Worldwide Studios, Shuhei Yoshida, to discuss Project Morpheus.

Google Cardboard is currently the only “immersive” avenue and most of the physical cases that one would use are pretty damn shitty, though some better options may be on the way. Oppenheimer believes that despite Anadarko Petroleum’s cost-savings and efficiency, improvements will continue to incur losses and cash flow deficits, if crude prices remain below the $70-per-barrel mark. The company reported an average sales volume of 787,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day (mboed), which represents a 7% year-over-year (YoY) fall, along with a 7% sequential decline.

The app that Apple is using for this specific experience is called Vrse and is available for download on the App Store, the Google Play Store, the Gear VR Store and through the Google Cardboard app. She’s a hardcore U2 fan—she once made a plan to marry Bono for a high school project—and now that she’s engaged (not to Bono), she’s had to choose between the band and wedding planning. “A U2 show is about $70,” she narrates in a voice-over. “That doesn’t seem like too much when you’re thinking about things in the big picture, but when you have little things to get for a wedding like invitations or just little things like that, $70 is really a lot. The app primarily is focused on creating viewing experiences for third-party content partners, which previously has included The New York Times, Vice News, NBC and others.

It’s been at least 15 years since U2 did anything remotely cool, and yet, Apple doesn’t seem to get that the last time U2 was relevant was around the time the iPod was unveiled by Steve Jobs. All told, there were three different crews in three different time zones capturing footage of people who’d responded to the band’s call for submissions online or whom the producers had found on the web. “We had a team working 24 hours a day in shifts on casting,” says producer Ari Palitz. “[It] was a true testament to advances in technology.

We would find a performer we liked on YouTube, then once we were able to contact them and make sure they were available, we would present them all to Chris to choose from. I ask if it gets boring; in response, he brings up Kanye West. “There’s something I said to Kanye a long time ago,” Milk said, “which was ‘Don’t you get sick of playing those songs on stage every night?’ And he said, ‘No, because it’s not about the playing of the song, it’s about the reaction you’re getting from people.’ It’s the same thing for VR. The original Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) Band was clunky and uncomfortable on the wrist, not helped by the multiple sensors crammed into the glorified health tracker.

Last week, Apple illustrated a much more sensible music partnership when it released the video for Drake’s “Hotline Bling” for one week exclusively through Apple Music. The latest $250 sequel will likely make inroads in the wearable fitness industry, especially because Microsoft has paid attention to customer feedback and improved the features customers had a gripe with. Although Band 2 may not be the perfect fitness companion, it comes much closer to realizing the Redmond giants’ wearable goals when compared to the original Band. The Band 2 looks like a sleek and refined device, sporting an attractive, curved design that comprises of swappable bands and a curved AMOLED display. It has a small on-screen keyboard that is coated with a Gorilla Glass finish, in order to prevent scratches on the screen while ensuring the wearable has no sharp edges.

Microsoft has been pushing its Windows Health platform on the fitness wearable for quite some time, with the addition of new software functionality over last year. The Windows health layout is spread over a variety of action tiles that can be tough to find your way around, but at least they can be tweaked around and customized as per your discretion. This works great for professional athletes, who can more easily judge their overall fitness levels instead of implementing more expensive V02 measurement techniques.

Products from Fitbit Inc. (NYSE:FIT) have served as a standard for how long battery life should last, despite having smaller and more obstructive displays. This means we could see other companies such as Fitbit and Pebble buckle under the pressure of outclassing their rival, especially as investor concerns over their market position come under the spotlight.

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