Breaking Ground: Unveiling the Big XR News from Boeing, ENGAGE XR, Apple, and Meta
XR technology is rapidly gaining momentum in the public eye, with many XR companies now offering immersive workplace solutions to a wide range of enterprise users. Simultaneously, major players like Meta, Microsoft, and Apple are expanding their XR product portfolios, signaling the growing importance of XR technology across various industries.
A significant shift in the XR landscape is on the horizon, and it’s crucial to stay updated on the latest XR trends and developments. Join us at XR Today as we delve into the most significant XR updates and trends shaping the industry.
Red 6 and Boeing’s Advanced AR Trainer Trials
Red 6, in collaboration with Boeing, the world’s largest aerospace company, has successfully completed a series of tests for an immersive fighter jet trainer. During these exercises, a Boeing TA-4J aircraft was used to simulate various air combat scenarios, setting the stage for further integration and testing on a T-7 advanced trainer.
Daniel Robinson, Founder and CEO of Red 6, expressed his excitement, stating that “the future is now” with the T-7 powered by ATARS. He shared this news on social media, emphasizing the groundbreaking impact of this augmented reality technology on training, readiness, and lethality.
Robinson also acknowledged Boeing’s commitment to innovation and praised the Red 6 team for delivering the solution on time and within a tight timeline.
Donn Yates, Executive Director of Boeing Air Force Fighters and Trainers Business Development, highlighted the successful collaboration between Boeing and Red 6 in advancing training technology. He emphasized how this partnership has the potential to revolutionize fighter pilot training for the next generation.
President of Red 6, Thomas Bergeson, expressed pride in his team’s efforts to integrate the technology into the TA-4J aircraft in record time. He reaffirmed their dedication to delivering a fully synthetic outdoor training environment, which will transform training for future fighter pilots.
ENGAGE XR Introduces GenAI and Spatial Computing Features
ENGAGE XR is introducing Athena AI, an AI assistant integrated into their Metaverse service. Athena AI collaborates with users through voice interactions, interacts with ENGAGE XR application features, generates images, and creates skyboxes.
This AI assistant is designed to cater to enterprise clients, offering support for employee onboarding, sales calls, education, and training. To power Athena AI, ENGAGE XR leverages OpenAI’s Chat GPT service, partially operated by Microsoft, along with Dall.e 2 and Blockade Labs technology, enabling a wide range of AI applications.
Athena AI utilizes Open AI resources to provide a seamless and cohesive user experience, adapting to various roles and use cases, including training scenarios.
David Whelan, CEO of ENGAGE XR, highlighted the versatility of Athena AI in serving enterprise clients. He also emphasized the integration of AI with ENGAGE XR’s MR/spatial computing innovations, aligning with Apple’s vision for spatial computing.
Using Meta Quest Pro devices, ENGAGE XR’s development team has created an AR/spatial computing feature that allows users to collaborate in 3D space within real-world environments. This development positions ENGAGE XR alongside major industry players, preparing for the release of Meta Quest 3 and Vision Pro in 2024.
The company plans to debut “MixedReality ARPassthrough SpatialComputing” support on its virtual service later in 2023, further enhancing the immersive experience for users.
David Whelan also shared his excitement about the transformative potential of immersive technologies in remote work and education. With upcoming releases from leading manufacturers, including Meta, Lenovo, Pico, and Apple, the future promises improved remote communication solutions and enhanced productivity.
Apple Brings Spatial Computing to iOS
Apple is set to revolutionize spatial computing by introducing an Application Store for the Vision Pro, its forthcoming MR headset. This store will offer a wide range of services and games tailored for the Vision Pro, alongside compatibility with countless iPad and iPhone applications that will run on the visionOS.
Apple demonstrated how users can utilize first-party productivity apps on the Vision Pro during its WWDC event. This move opens up new opportunities for developers to create apps for various use cases, from gaming to communications, productivity, and entertainment.
The cross-pollination of iOS apps to the Vision Pro ensures that most iPad and iPhone services can run on the new device without requiring additional work from developers. Apple plans to automatically publish these apps on the Vision Pro App Store, significantly expanding the device’s capabilities.
Apple has announced that the Vision Pro App Store will launch in the fall, with a beta release of visionOS that includes the App Store. This initiative has already seen success with developers using the available SDK framework.
While porting 2D applications to the Vision Pro’s spatial computing SDK can be complex, Apple is committed to supporting applications facing challenges. Developers will receive notifications via App Store Connect if their apps are incompatible with the Vision Pro, and Apple will assist in providing alternative solutions or updates to accommodate visionOS.
Apple’s AVFoundation Engineer, Chris Flick, emphasized the ease of transitioning existing 2D content to a spatial experience, enabling support for 3D content with minimal modifications to current pipelines.
Additionally, Apple’s Xcode 15 beta includes a visionOS simulator, allowing developers to test their apps’ core functionalities in a spatial computing environment. Developers can sign up for Apple’s developer lab or submit iOS apps for compatibility testing.
In a recent iPhone showcase, Apple introduced spatial video recording for the latest iPhone model, enabling users to create 3D recordings that can be viewed as RT3D MR visualizations. Spatial media streaming is also on the horizon for Apple smartphone devices, enhancing XR capabilities and preparing users for the Vision Pro’s 2024 release.
Meta Reveals US Education Partnership
Meta, a leading XR company, has announced a significant partnership with 15 universities across the United States, coinciding with the start of the new academic year. This partnership comes as Meta prepares for Connect 2023, its flagship event.
These universities are actively incorporating immersive learning into their curricula, using VR to assess the effectiveness of XR technologies in education. The partnership includes several universities and their respective programs:
- Stanford University and BodySwaps: Focusing on soft skills development.
- Arizona State University: Teaching language skills in virtual environments.
- New Mexico State University: Applying VR to criminal justice for crime scene evaluations.
- University of Iowa: Training business students in soft skills using virtual reality.
- Purdue Global: Training nurses for hospital care through role-playing and simulations.
- University of Alabama at Birmingham and VictoryXR: Teaching business courses virtually.
- Nova Southern University: Educating first-year medical students about human anatomy using VR.
- Miami Dade College: Offering virtual courses in various subjects, including music, chemistry, research, architecture, and biology.
- Morehouse College: Providing courses in chemistry, journalism, business, biology, and more through its digital twin campus. The Meta Quest product lineup offers a wide range of education-based apps, particularly in STEM courses. These apps, available on platforms like the Morehouse College Quest Store, cover subjects like history, foreign languages, and more.
This partnership reflects the growing impact of immersive technologies in education and extends to international institutions as well. Italy’s University of Camerino has already offered its first course based entirely on the Metaverse, expanding spatial communication and internet capabilities.
Itaca Education has also leveraged Meta’s hardware and technologies for virtual learning in natural sciences and physics. This approach provides students with virtual components, eliminating the need for physical props and materials, and enhances accessibility for all learners.
Students and instructors can participate in immersive spaces for their classes, fostering interactive and engaging learning experiences.
In Europe, GoStudent, in collaboration with Germany and Austria, has witnessed remarkable success in language learning through virtual reality. GoVR learners can engage remotely with native-speaking tutors and classmates, creating a dynamic learning environment.
The United Kingdom’s Noun Town offers innovative language learning solutions for various languages, further expanding the reach of XR technology in education.