Big XR News from Apple, Meta, Network Rail, and Igloo Vision

Leading firms XR trickle down brief information to keep audiences engaged ahead of major events

XR Big News
Mixed RealityNews Analysis

Published: May 10, 2024


Rory Greener

Event season is coming up. It appears that in the background, several XR leaders are continuing to drive innovation across end devices.

Moreover, the education sector appears to be another growing market for XR. Meta is currently working on its education-ready Quest product range, while UK education institutions are incorporating the power of XR today.

As the industry awaits big announcements in the coming months, leading firms trickle down brief information to keep audiences interested.

Apple Cements Vision Pro in Enterprise Amidst Low-Demand Speculation

Apple CEO Tim Cook has responded to rumours about the demand for the Vision Pro in enterprise sectors.

Despite rumours that demand for the product is lower than expected, Cook has emphasized that the Vision Pro is being adopted in forward-thinking workplaces and is changing how major industries operate. He believes that cautious speculation on the longevity of the Vision Pro may have come too soon.

However, there are still rumours that the initial shipment numbers of Apple’s Vision Pro are low, which may have led to production cuts before the World Wide Developer Conference 2024.

Ming-Chi Kuo, a trusted Apple analyst, explained that low demand for Vision Pro is causing mass production delays. According to Kuo, Apple is not very optimistic about the AR/MR headset announcement recreating the success of the iPhone, leading them to push back plans for a mass production schedule by approximately 1-2 months, placing the schedule in mid-to-late 3Q23.

At launch, Apple predicted it would ship approximately 500,000 Vision Pro units by the year’s end. However, according to Kuo’s insight, Apple has only shipped 200,000 to 300,000 units so far.

Meta Reality Labs Experiments with High-End AR Displays, AI Integrations

During a recent Instagram Q&A session, Meta’s CTO Andrew Bosworth revealed that their Reality Labs division can create incredibly high XR device displays up to roughly “100 [PPD]” in testing scenarios.

However, these details cannot yet be replicated on consumer end devices. Bosworth refers to these prototype displays as “time machines” that showcase the upper echelon of XR display capabilities, which will be achievable for end devices in the future. The Reality Labs team is working to reduce the experimental displays to a degree that modern headsets can manage.

Meta is also working on other initiatives to ensure future success in the XR HMD marketplace. During the company’s most recent earnings call, Meta’s CFO, Susan Li, noted they are making “important progress” on their longer-term AI and Reality Labs initiatives. These initiatives can potentially transform how people interact with Meta’s services in the coming years.

Network Rail’s XR Training Pilot Reaches 1,000 UK Students

Network Rail recently taught over 1,000 students at Trinity Academy in Thorne, Doncaster, marking a significant milestone for immersive training programs. Industry professionals from Network Rail’s Community Safety team and the British Transport Police conducted five railway safety sessions at the school, highlighting the dangers of trespassing on railways.

The immersive learning units incorporated VR headsets to simulate rail lines, the risks associated with such spaces, and 360-degree presentations. The training sessions were organized by Trinity Academy educators for 100 students aged 13-14, ultimately leading to 1,000 students participating in Network Rail’s immersive learning program across its East Coast route.

Behind England’s Celebrity-Led, Multi-Million XR Education Programme

UK-based immersive technology innovators eXtended Reality Peterborough (XRP) have partnered with Igloo Vision and the wider ARU education group to open an XR training facility worth £5.7 million in the heart of education institutions across East England.

The “XR Lab” has been established with multi-million capital funding from the Office for Students to provide simulated learning opportunities at the new Peterborough site and beyond. The funding also supports incorporating further XR technology on-site at ARU campuses in the Cambridge and Chelmsford areas.

The XR Lab is part of the broader Peterborough Centre of Excellence and Innovation and Research Centre. This three-story space houses the new XR Lab and other learning opportunities.

The establishment of the Peterborough Centre of Excellence and Innovation and Research Centre is supported by the Cambridgeshire & Peterborough Combined Authority Business Board’s “Get Building Fund”, with an additional £13.78 million in funding.

Sandi Toksvig OBE, a renowned writer and broadcaster, opened the new XR Lab during the grand opening ceremony. During the opening, she also got hands-on with Igloo Vision’s solution at the Peterborough site.


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