Study Shows VR and AR Are Now Mainstream Tech

The time may be ripe for Apple to go all-in with virtual and augmented reality (VR and AR) products. What was once mostly fantasy is now mainstream, according to the sales data. There’s still plenty of room for growth. International Data Corporation “only” expects just shy of $2 billion in sales from VR and AR for 2021. That might sound like a lot of money. However, it pales in comparison to the $289 billion expected of smart home sales. Still, the increasingly popular VR/AR gaming genre should continue growing, IDC thinks. It may even grow faster than other parts of the new mainstream product categories. The analysts predict almost 68% growth over the next 5 years.

IDC expects AR and VR combined to show the most growth out of the three categories, thanks to both businesses and individual consumers. The latter is particularly interested in “robust gaming solutions,” IDC said. Businesses represent the bulk of AR spending today, but IDC thinks the market for AR headsets targeting the general public will grow. It predicted a 67.9 percent compound annual growth rate from 2020 to 2025 for AR and VR combined, which is more than 10 times the next competitor, smart home tech (10.1 percent growth rate).


Want to Dive Into a 3D LEGO Star Wars World? Check Out The Last Jedi 360 Experience

LEGO and Star Wars are a pretty awesome combination, and one of their newest games takes that to a wonderfully fun new level with a virtual reality experience. The game is called The Last Jedi 3D Experience and it lets you build ships the Resistance and First Order use in their battle for control of the galaxy. The game plays in a web browser so you don’t need to install any special apps, and if you have Google Cardboard or View-Master VR for your iPhone it’s over-the-top cool. The Last Jedi 3D Experience is free and you can check out the game at the LEGO website.

VR Apple Maps in iOS 11

Apple’s going big on augmented (AR) and virtual reality (VR) with iOS 11, and it appears those plans include the Apple Maps app. It was discovered this week that Maps locations which currently support “Flyover Tours” will now have a VR mode called just “Flyover” (minus the Tours). When accessed, the user sees the traditional Flyover view, but instead of the predefined tour video, the view responds to the user’s movement and the position of the iPhone. While currently providing a VR view, it appears that future plans call for AR too, as you’ll get a warning while using the app if there isn’t enough light for the camera. Check it out if you’re running the iOS 11 Beta.

A Glimpse Into Microsoft's Future

Microsoft is a changed company under CEO Satya Nadella. We’re not the first ones to notice. This change has manifested itself in several ways, most notably the willingness to provide solutions on whatever platform the customer wants to work with. More exciting, however, is how people interact with their computers. This week, John points us an article that reveals Microsoft’s important new thinking about the human-machine interface.

Apple's iPad Fights For the Education Market

The education market is very price sensitive. Three players are in a pitched battle for the right-priced personal computer: Apple (iOS), Google (Chrome OS + Android), and Microsoft (Windows 10 Cloud). These OSes and their implementation on hardware, plus the right kind of marketing and staying power, could determine which company seizes the hearts and minds of schools and students.