Apple’s Mixed-Reality Headset, Tech Giants Are Feeling Pinch, AI made hardware interesting, The Industry Will Be Stronger, and Accident...

Apple’s Mixed-Reality Headset Could Arrive Next Year With RealityOS

Apple's next major product—a mixed-reality headset that it hopes will vault the company into a new era of computing—isn't set to arrive until next year. But job listings and personnel changes at the company give a preview of some of the device's capabilities.

Here's what we already knew: The headset itself is likely to be priced between $2,000 and $3,000 because it's a high-end product that will pack a Mac-level M2 chip, more than 10 cameras placed outside and inside the device, and the highest-resolution displays ever featured in a mass-market headset. 

We also know that the device will run a new operating system dubbed realityOS, which will include mixed-reality versions of core Apple apps like Messages, FaceTime and Maps. The first version of the operating system—codenamed Oak—is wrapping up internally and should be ready for the new hardware next year.

Another key detail is the potential name: I reported in August that Apple is behind the trademark filings for "Reality Pro" and "Reality One", suggesting that they're deciding between those two brands for their new headset. The "Reality" moniker makes sense given the operating system name and existing Apple AR development tools like RealityKit. Read more...

Amazon, Apple and Other Tech Giants Are Feeling Pinch of Slumping Sales

Recession fears have hit the tech sector, with companies like Amazon and Apple facing slumping sales and layoffs.

Liz Young, head of investment strategy at SoFi, noted in a report late last week that tech earnings during the third quarter fell 1% from a year ago and that revisions for the fourth quarter have been cut by nearly 10% in recent weeks. It could get worse.

"With this being the first quarter of a meaningful tone change in earnings … I don’t think it will be the last one of margin pressure," Young wrote. She added that "it’s becoming clear that we may at least see recessionary conditions in some sectors, even if they don’t bleed into all facets of the economy. Tech is one of those sectors."

There are also legitimate questions about strategy shifts at some companies. Meta, for example, is going all in on augmented and virtual reality while Netflix is now embracing advertising after years of vowing it would not have ads on its platforms.

Broader worries about the economy and advertising spending are hurting the sector. Many of the tech giants have already announced layoffs, and there is speculation that there could be more job cuts coming. Read more...

How AI has made hardware interesting again

Computer hardware has been a less-than-electrifying market for years. The dominant x86 microprocessor architecture is reaching the limits of the performance gains that can be realized through miniaturization, so manufacturers have focused mainly on packing more cores into their chips.

For the rapidly evolving disciplines of machine learning and deep learning – which are two of the main types of AI in use today – the salvation has been in GPUs. Initially designed for graphics processing, GPUs can have thousands of small cores, making them ideal for the parallel processing power needed for AI training.

"The nature of AI is that it benefits from processing in parallel," said Peter Rutten, research vice president within the worldwide infrastructure practice at International Data Corp. "About 10 years ago it was discovered that GPUs, which were designed to put pixels on the screen, are good for this because they're parallel processing engines and you can put a lot of cores into them."

For AI workloads, "it's been mainly Nvidia GPUs till now," said Chirag Dekate, a Gartner Inc. analyst who specializes in operational AI systems. "This is not to imply that GPUs are over, but as high-performance computing and AI workloads continue to converge, you’ll see a greater variety of accelerators emerge.” Read more...

Zhao: 'The Industry Will Be Stronger' In 5 Years

In an interview with Bloomberg today, Zhao said, "I think in five years, when we look back at this, the industry will be stronger."

The crypto market is trying to pick up the pieces after it was thrown into massive disarray last week when the previously third-largest crypto exchange, FTX, imploded and filed for bankruptcy.

"It’s obvious that people are jittery, interested and somewhat nervous about what’s happening in the industry," “I want to say, short-term it is painful. But, I think this is good for the industry long-term.”

Zhao acknowledged that a lot of people lost money recently and many still have money stuck with FTX, so “there will be pain.” But he hinted that market conditions should improve down the line.

"The industry is not going away and the other strong industry players are now even stronger," he said.

Last week, a number of crypto exchanges, including Binance, said they would begin publishing proof-of-reserves in an effort to reassure customers and investors that their funds are safe in the wake of the FTX debacle. Last week, Zhao emphasized the importance of transparency and security in the industry. Read more... Accidentally Sent $400M In Ethereum To A Rival Exchange

It's time to start taking crypto seriously.

When the FTX scandal broke, there was a lot of talk about how "other crypto companies" should prove they haven't been using customer funds as their own personal piggy bank.

But this isn't anything new. Many major centralized exchanges regularly show 'proof of reserves' to reassure their customers that their money is safe, and avoid any panic-triggered mass withdrawals.

With all this heightened scrutiny, sleuths in the crypto space have been scouring back over the transaction histories of many centralized exchanges. And ah -  they just found something.

On October 21st, accidentally transferred $400M worth of Ethereum (ETH) to a rival exchange: Just one week before were due to show their proof of reserves? They kindly returned the ETH (how convenient).

So if this was an attempt to help fudge their numbers and make sure things looked good for when they released their proofs, why did they think they could get away with it? Well... The FTX news hadn't broken yet so they probably thought they could do it quietly without anyone noticing, and if they couldn't do it quietly, there was most likely an assumption that they could blame it on internal mismanagement. Read more...

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