Siam is doing his major in Microbiology from the University of Dhaka. Passionate and curious about technology and biological science. Likes to read, write and research. Your textbook definition of nerd. Send him journals and notes at [email protected]
Ever wondered what it would be like to wear a pair of glasses and give instruction to your AR assistant just like the way Tony Stark gives commands to Jarvis in Iron Man movies? Well, your dream might be coming true because Apple has been working on Augmented Reality glasses for real. And according to recent reports, the codes found in the iOS 13 beta gives hints about Apple already testing its AR device.
In the internal build for iOS 13, there are options for stereoscopic AR apps that can only be used using some sorts of headsets or glasses. The programming codes also point to the development of augmented reality (AR) device, “Garta,” a prototype under Apple’s T288 project.
The hype about the AR glasses got real when Apple started making a team of 100+ people skilled at building virtual reality and AR headsets. Apple then hijacked Nick Thompson who was an engineer for Microsoft’s HoloLens AR headset, and Mike Rockwell who was the head of engineering at Dolby Labs. Apple also purchased companies like Metaio, Flyby Media, Akonia Holographics to bolster its AR department.
“THERE ARE CERTAIN IDEAS THAT WE HAVE AND WE ARE WAITING FOR THE TECHNOLOGY TO CATCH UP WITH THE IDEA.”
– APPLE’S FORMER DESIGN CHIEF JONY IVE
If the rumours are true, the operating system for AR glass/headset will be called ‘rOS‘ for ‘reality operating-system’. Or, Apple might entirely ditch the idea of building a separate headset and use the processing engine of the iPhone to power-up the AR glass, as noted by Ming-Chi Kuo, a well-known Apple analyst.
The AR glasses, when they arrive, will revolutionize the way we use technology. It has the potential to change the way we use maps, the way we do photography and gaming or simply the way we interact with the objects around us. It could also technically improve the eye-sight and be a great device for those in need for better accessibility features such as hearing, physical and motor skills, and educational settings.
There are excitements and high hopes about Apple AR glasses and they can even hit the market by 2020, thus potentially putting Google Glass and Microsoft HoloLens in direct competition. Whatever the case is, it’s a straight win for the customers.
Stay tuned to HiFi Public for more exciting news on Apple products.
In its annual developer conference, Huawei finally unveiled its long-awaited operating system, HarmonyOS, that was secretly under development for years. This new operating system is said to be much faster and smoother than its rival, Android.
In the wake of the recent US trade ban on China, and the subsequent suspension of Huawei’s license by Google, the Chinese company was forced to think of a “Plan B”. Although Huawei had been building the operating system in secrecy to bind their devices into one unified “ecosystem”, the development of the OS only escalated after Huawei temporarily lost the rights to use Google’s Android.
HarmonyOS is built with the concept of “connectivity” and “compatibility” where every device is connected within an ecosystem. To achieve such a level of compatibility, it was necessary to build an operating system that would provide room for developers to build apps and port them for different types of devices without rebuilding them from scratch. Here are a few important highlights from Huawei’s presentation.
HarmonyOS features microkernel, same as Google Fuchsia OS, but only does it better than Google in terms of current progress. The first device to use HarmonyOS is Honor Vision TV that was launched on August 10, indicating Huawei’s attempt to decrease its reliance on Google’s Android.
In China, HarmonyOS will be called HongMeng OS and will gradually show up in various smart devices by 2020.
According to Huawei’s senior vice president Catherine Chen, HarmonyOS is an embedded operating system designed for Internet of things (IoT) hardware.
That means the primary goal of this operating system is to allow extension of Internet connectivity into physical devices and everyday objects.
As part of the IoT program, HarmonyOS will be compatible with Smartphones as well. Richard Yu, the company’s Consumer Business Group CEO states that it can migrate to HarmonyOS from Android at any time due to the nature & flexibility of the microkernel. However, the Chinese company decided to stick to Android for now owing to its commitments to Google.
In future, HarmonyOS will support Android apps. For that, developers will need to use Huawei made IDE that supports C/C++, Java, and Kotlin to convert android apps and make them compatible for HarmonyOS. It is seemingly an easier process due to the flexibility offered by the new OS. Interestingly, HarmonyOS won’t support root access because of security risks.
Harmony OS will be available in smartphones, smart speakers, computers, smartwatches, wireless earbuds, cars, and tablets. The developers can create one version of their apps and then use them across a range of different devices.
“We needed an OS that supports all scenarios, that can be used across a broad range of devices and platforms, and that can meet consumer demand for low latency and strong security,”
Unlike Android that uses Linux’s kernel, Harmony OS uses a “deterministic latency engine” that improves latency and latency fluctuation by 25.7% and 55.6 respectively. Moreover, Huawei claims that the microkernel can make “IPC [Inter Process Communication] performance up to five times more efficient than existing systems.”
Huawei will be open-sourcing the HarmonyOS which means that the source code of the operating system will be available to the developers for further manipulation and anybody can use it to create compatible devices. The version 2.0 of HarmonyOS will be released in the next year and version 3.0 will be available by 2021.
Huawei claims that Harmony is an entirely different operating system than Android or iOS. That is because it enables AI capability in different forms from computers, tablets and other domains. For now, Huawei aims at focusing on the development of Harmony OS only in China. However, with future plans to expand globally.
Can it replace Android?
The biggest hurdle in outcompeting an existing successful operating system is to convince the developers to start building for the new platform. Over the years, Microsoft, Samsung, Blackberry, Firefox, Jolla failed to persuade the developers to make apps for Windows Phone, TizenOS, FirefoxOS, SailfishOS respectively.
No matter how feature-rich or faster the operating system is, without the proper support from the developer’s community, a new operating system can’t displace Android. This is exactly the reason why Huawei still chooses to stick to Google’s Android and keeps HarmonyOS as their plan B for smartphones. But, the Chinese smartphone giant vows to continue developing the OS and make it available in various smart devices in the near future.