James Cameron Loves Apple’s Vision Pro. But Will It Be Addictive?

James Cameron tells Vanity Fair’s Nick Bilton that his experience with Apple’s Vision Pro “was religious. I was skeptical at first. I don’t bow down before the great god of Apple, but I was really, really blown away… I think it’s not evolutionary; it’s revolutionary. And I’m speaking as someone who has worked in VR for 18 years.”

He explained that the reason it looks so real is because the Apple Vision Pro is writing a 4K image into my eyes. “That’s the equivalent of the resolution of a 75-inch TV into each of your eyeballs — 23 million pixels.” To put that into perspective, the average 4K television has around 8 million pixels. Apple engineers didn’t slice off a rectangle from the corner of a 4K display and put it in the Apple Vision Pro. They somehow compressed twice as many pixels into a space as small as your eyeball. This, to people like Cameron who have been working in this space for two decades, “solves every problem.”

But even with all this wonder, with 23 million pixels that are so clear and crisp that you can’t tell reality from a digital composite of it…. the more I’ve used the Apple Vision Pro over the past two weeks, the more one glaring problem revealed itself to me. It’s not the weight (which is a problem but will come down over time), or the size (which will shrink with each iteration), or the worry that it will drive us to consume more content alone (almost half of Americans already watch TV alone). Or how tech giants like Meta, Netflix, Spotify, and Google are currently withholding their apps from the device. (Content creators may come around once the consumers are there, and some, like Disney, are already embracing the device, making 150 movies available in 3D, including from mega-franchises like Star Wars and Marvel.) And it’s not even the price, because if Apple wanted to, the company could subsidize the cost of the Apple Vision Pro and it would have about as much financial impact as Cook losing a nickel between his couch cushions.

I’m talking about something that I don’t see a solution for… I can see a day when we all can’t imagine living without an augmented reality. When we’re enveloped more and more by technology, to the point that we crave these glasses like a drug, like we crave our iPhones today but with more desire for the dopamine hit this resolution of AR can deliver. I know deep down that the Apple Vision Pro is too immersive, and yet all I want to do is see the world through it. “I’m sure the technology is terrific. I still think and hope it fails,” one Silicon Valley investor said to me. “Apple feels more and more like a tech fentanyl dealer that poses as a rehab provider.” Harsh words, but he feels what we all feel, a slave to our smartphone, and he’s seen this play before and he knows what the first act is like, and the second act, and he knows how it ends.

Political blogger Taegan Goddard says the Vision Pro “offers a glimpse of how we might use computers in the future. If you’re skeptical — and many people are — you need to try it before drawing any conclusions. It’s hard to explain unless you’ve worn it. But I can assure you, it’s mind-blowing.”

Apple CEO Tim Cook tells Bilton “You can actually lay on your sofa and put the displays on your ceiling if you wish. I watched the third season of Ted Lasso on my ceiling and it was unbelievable!”

Dan Ives, a senior analyst at the investment firm Wedbush Securities, tells Bilton, “We think a few years from now it’ll resemble sunglasses and be less than $1,500.”

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Will This Next-Generation Display Technology Change the World?

“I saw the future at CES 2023,” writes Geoffrey Morrison, describing “a new, top-secret prototype display technology” that could one day replace LCD and OLED for phones and TVs. “It was impossibly flat, like a vibrantly glowing piece of paper.”

Meet electroluminescent quantum dots:

Until now, quantum dots were always a supporting player in another technology’s game. A futuristic booster for older tech, elevating that tech’s performance. QDs weren’t a character on their own. That is no longer the case. The prototype I saw was completely different. No traditional LEDs and no OLED. Instead of using light to excite quantum dots into emitting light, it uses electricity. Nothing but quantum dots. Electroluminescent, aka direct-view, quantum dots. This is huge.

Or at least, has the potential to be huge. Theoretically, this will mean thinner, more energy-efficient displays. It means displays that can be easier, as in cheaper, to manufacture. That could mean even less expensive, more efficient, bigger-screen TVs. The potential in picture quality is at least as good as QD-OLED, if not better. The tech is scalable from tiny, lightweight, high-brightness displays for next-generation VR headsets, to highly efficient phone screens, to high-performance flat-screen TVs.
The article predicts the simpler structure means “Essentially, you can print an entire QD display onto a surface without the heat required by other ‘printable’ tech…. Just about any flat or curved surface could be a screen.” This leads to QD screens not just on TVs and phones, but on car windshields, eyeglass lenses, and even bus or subway windows. (“These will initially be pitched by cities as a way to show people important info, but inevitably they’ll be used for advertising. That’s certainly not a knock against the tech, just how things work in the world….”)

Nanosys is calling this direct-view, electroluminescent quantum dot tech “nanoLED,” and told CNET that “their as-yet-unnamed manufacturing partner is going to be talking more about the technology in a few months…

“Even Nanosys admits direct-view quantum dot displays are still several years away from mass production…. But 5-10 years from now we’ll almost certainly have options for QD [quantum dot] displays in our phones, probably in our living rooms, and possibly on our windshields and windows.”

Read more of this story at Slashdot.