A BIG ANNOUNCEMENT FROM APPLE AND A SLIGHTLY SMALLER ONE FROM 3ADVANCE
In this week’s What’s Appening, we have some major announcements - of course, the first comes from Apple Park where CEO Tim Cook’s “one last thing” was the long-awaited augmented reality headwear, called Vision Pro. Now this might have been the biggest news in tech this week until you realize that here at 3Advance, we just launched our new website! No contest, right? Scroll on down for more of that, but back to WWDC - we’ll cover the good, the bad, and the ugly of this incredible new piece of technology. Of course, there are other announcements from Apple’s developer conference that stood out so we’ll make sure to fill you in on that too. We still have room for a Stat of the Week, which looks at Twitter’s worrying ad revenue. And What’s dAppening has a cool report on a partnership between Nike and EA to bring NFTs to your favorite sports video games.
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🍏🥽 Apple – We Finally Get to See the Remarkable Vision Pro AR Headset
Oh, Apple. WWDC has become an annual watch-along for Team 3Advance, where we mostly spend time poking fun at the cringe delivery of Apple’s team when announcing new products. “We truly live in an age of wonder” said one guy before announcing we can have multiple timers on a stopwatch. But yesterday, there genuinely was a watershed moment. Channeling his best Steve Jobs, current CEO Tim Cook’s “One More Thing” unveiled Vision Pro which, dare we say, is the boldest technology release since the iPhone. Apple’s new augmented reality looks truly spectacular. Cook invited us to experience “spatial computing”, heralding Apple’s first-ever product you look through and not at. In simple terms, it brings a 3D user experience in front of you in the real world. You can navigate your apps anywhere at any size, using your fingers, voice, and your eyes! This “EyeSight’ is where the real magic happens, with Vision Pro effectively predicting a user will ‘click’ something before they actually do it. The hardware is as beautiful as it is, well, weird. It’s clearly light years ahead of Zuckerberg’s Oculus. You’ll need to check out some of the videos to appreciate the incredible experience - we recommend this YouTube review by the amazing Marques Brownlee Marques Brownie - but yet, there are disappointments. The headset, though futuristic and slick, is bulky and heavy even though the battery lies not in the headset itself, but in your pocket - and yes, this means the power cord must be connected permanently. The cost is $3500, so this immediately cuts off a huge portion of Apple’s customers immediately, and it’s not even available till next year. So why announce it now, you ask? Well, although Apple’s own apps look spectacular and the seamless integration with other Apple products makes us want to jump in right away, the truth is, there needs to be more. Opening up sooner to developers, using Generative AI (a term conspicuously missing from the entire first day at WWDC) will enable the creation of more third-party apps and integrations. And while early (high-paying) adopters may be the only first users of Vision Pro, they will ultimately serve as guinea pigs for Apple, to understand what works, and what doesn’t. Sure, the models look great wearing Vision Pro, but curiously none of the Apple execs donned the headset themselves…Perhaps they’re waiting for others to test whether these strange metallic ski goggles and ML-powered facial expressions look beautiful or alien. Probably both. #AppleVision Read more here.
🍏🆕 Apple – What Else Went Down at WWDC 2023?
Vision Pro was an addendum to a long showcase of Apple’s new products, services, and ideas on Monday. What else happened of note? As ever, there were loads of new updates for Mac, iOS, iPadOS, Safari, Watch, and the rest. In terms of new hardware, most of the eyeballs went to Apple’s new 15-inch MacBook Air. Folks have been crying out for a larger screen on Apple’s more affordable MacBook range, and they’ll get it in the fall. MacBook Studio and MacBook Pros were also announced with super-powerful M2 Ultra Chips. A host of updates for iOS 17 were announced, including video FaceTime for missed calls and audio transcription for Notes. The pick of the bunch on iOS 17 was arguably NameDrop, though, which allows users to seamlessly exchange contact details via AirDrop. Apple made a big deal out of Live and Emoji Stickers, too, including the ability to turn photos into stickers. IPadOS got plenty of new stuff, too, most notably the ability to modify widgets on the home screen. Watch had the usual focus on health (including mental health) and exercise, but the stars of the show were Snoopy and Woodstock, who can appear on your Watch home screen and react to events like the weather (it’s really cute). Safari got some private browsing updates, as well as advanced tracking and fingerprint protections. Apple TV got additions with FaceTime and video conferencing. And finally, MacOS got an update with Sonoma. That’s just some of the new stuff Apple announced, some of it predictable, some of it welcome. A decent WWDC for 2023, but its perceived success will likely hinge on the reception of Vision Pro when it goes on sale next year. #AppleWWDC Read more here.
🐥📉 Twitter – NYT Reports On Alarming Drop in Ad Revenue
We touched on the drive to create Twitter clones a couple of weeks ago on What’s Appening, parsing out that there was a variety of reasons why rivals like Bluesky, Mastodon, and Meta might smell blood. But Twitter’s finances are a worry, not least the money coming from advertisers, which, contrary to the noise about subscriptions, is still the lifeblood of social media revenue. The New York Times calculated that ad revenue had dropped by 59% over a five-week period from a year earlier (recorded April-May 2023). It’s a huge challenge for incoming CEO Linda Yaccarino. But remember, it’s not user numbers but the content that is driving advertisers away. Will Yaccarino explain to her boss that it might be he who is the problem? #TwitterAdWoes Read more here.
👟🎮 Nike – EA Games Announces Partnership with Swoosh NFT Platform
Nike’s NFT apparel platform was always going to be a slow burner, but .Swoosh is still one of the most ambitious NFT projects out there. Key to that ambition, in our view, is the realization of partnerships, and Nike has reeled in one of the biggest fish in EA Games. The video game publisher behind titles like Madden and what was formerly known as FIFA has announced a partnership with Nike to bring customizable NFTs to its gaming ecosystem in future. While short on the exact when, where, and hows of the deal, we did get a glimpse of what it meant in a short video. The endgame is clear – you’ll be able to design custom Nike NFT cleats, jerseys, and so on, and then bring them into your video game. For gamers, who’ve been used to the idea of buying and trading ‘skins’ long before anyone heard of NFTs, you can see the attraction. It’s a brilliant example of how NFTs can change a sector like gaming, making it more customizable and personal, and giving players the chance to shape the aesthetics of their gaming worlds. No word yet on the exact launch date of the partnership, but this looks like a big win for Nike and EA Games. #NFTsInTheGame Read more here.
Our new website is LIVE!!! 🔥 🎉 🎊 Yes, as a (13th!) birthday present to ourselves, we just launched the all-new 3Advance.com, so please, get on over there and let us know what you think!! We are so proud of the site, the work, and the people that made this happen, especially our Senior Designer Kieran Holden. He’s carried the torch, led with creativity and dug so deep to make this happen. It’s an exciting week. Cheers!!
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