Version 27.0

Written & Compiled by Macklin Andrick, GPJ Sr. Creative Technologist

GPJ’s Experience Technology practice is your trusted guide through the latest technological shifts and how they might benefit your next experience. Another week, another opportunity to explore some of the weird and wild things going on in the tech world!

Here we are with another week of tasty tech bytes! Apple’s Vision Pro dazzles with tech magic but fumbles with a hefty price and bulky design, meanwhile Volkswagen’s AI lab sends robots to BMW, steering into a futuristic workforce.

Apple Vision Pro review: magic, until it’s not – The Verge

The Apple Vision Pro, despite its groundbreaking display, eye and hand tracking technologies, and integration with Apple’s ecosystem, embodies a series of substantial trade-offs that highlight the complexities and limitations of current mixed reality devices. Costing $3,499, the headset aims to offer a new computing experience by overlaying digital content onto the real world, but it faces challenges such as being cumbersome to wear, displaying limited color gamut and field of view, and offering an isolating user experience. Nilay Patel’s review in The Verge acknowledges the technological marvels of the Vision Pro, yet also questions its practicality and user-friendliness, emphasizing the inherent limitations of current VR/AR technology and its implications for daily use. Despite its ambition to revolutionize personal computing, the Vision Pro’s hefty trade-offs, such as its isolating nature and the need for an external battery, make it a pioneering yet imperfect step towards the future of spatial computing.

Volkswagen Launches AI Lab to Boost Innovation with AI-Powered Solutions

Volkswagen has ventured into the artificial intelligence arena with the launch of its AI Lab, aiming to forge fresh product concepts and collaborations with global tech giants. Distinct from its software unit, Cariad, and specific in-house brands, the lab seeks to fast-track innovation by developing prototypes for potential implementation across the Volkswagen, Audi, and Porsche brands. This move comes amid a broader trend of companies like GRUP MEDIAPRO, Unilever, and SoftServe establishing AI labs to pioneer new AI-driven solutions and products. With a focus on ethical AI and a blend of internal and external expertise, these labs are part of a competitive race to lead the next wave of AI innovation in various industries.

MIT is pioneering new 3D printing techniques with liquid metal

Researchers at MIT have pioneered an accelerated method for 3D printing intricate structures like furniture. Utilizing a unique liquid aluminum, this innovative printing approach enables the fabrication of furniture-sized components within minutes, surpassing the efficiency of other methods employing metal additives. Termed liquid metal printing (LMP), the technique involves depositing molten aluminum along a predetermined path into a bed of miniature glass beads, resulting in rapid solidification into a 3D structure. While this process may introduce minor irregularities in the final product, these are largely negligible when considering the remarkable speed and scalability that the technique offers. As the methodology continues to evolve, its diverse applications are poised to revolutionize rapid prototyping, particularly with the use of recycled or scrap metal.

Yelp launches revamped feed with AI-powered business summaries

Yelp has introduced a series of enhancements in its winter release, aimed at enriching user experience and privacy on its platform. The updates include a visually richer iOS feed showcasing collections, videos from Yelp Elites and businesses, and AI-powered business summaries. New search features offer an image-forward display, popular search suggestions, and carousels like “People also search for” and “Popular dishes nearby.” Yelp has enhanced its review system with AI to highlight pertinent reviews and will introduce review badges and interactive categories. For services, Yelp has improved its ‘Request a Quote’ experience and introduced number masking with Twilio to protect user privacy, allowing direct texting with businesses. The platform has expanded its “Yelp Guaranteed” program nationwide, offering up to $2,500 in money-back guarantees. Businesses benefit from a revamped home page, improved ad budget recommendations, and scheduled consultations with Yelp advertising representatives.

New PGA Tour Vision app launching alongside Apple Vision Pro

The PGA Tour is enhancing the golf-watching experience with the launch of PGA Tour Vision, an innovative app developed in collaboration with Apple and set to debut at Pebble Beach Pro-Am. Integrating with the new Apple Vision Pro spatial computing headset, PGA Tour Vision offers users a dynamic and immersive way to engage with live golf. Fans can view detailed tournament data, live shot trails, and various spatial 2D windows presenting leaderboards and course information. The app allows intuitive navigation through eye, hand, or physical movements, eliminating the need for a traditional controller. Initially featuring the iconic par-3 7th hole, the PGA Tour plans to expand coverage to all 18 holes at select Signature events throughout 2024. The development of PGA Tour Vision involved key contributions from the PGA Tour’s digital operations team and partnership with mobile AR and XR developer Quintar, and Work&Co for design. The app also incorporates CBS Sports’ live streaming, promising a comprehensive and groundbreaking digital experience for golf enthusiasts.

TikTok loses Taylor Swift, Drake, and other major Universal Music artists

Universal Music Group (UMG) has pulled the music catalogs of renowned artists like Taylor Swift, Drake, and Olivia Rodrigo from TikTok following a breakdown in negotiations to renew the expired licensing agreement. The dispute centers on UMG’s demands for fair artist compensation, concerns over generative AI, and the need for enhanced online safety measures to protect artists on the platform. In response, TikTok criticized UMG for rejecting the support of its massive user base and prioritizing profit over artists’ and songwriters’ interests. Consequently, UMG-owned music will be silenced on TikTok videos, forcing users to seek alternative tracks from different labels for their content.

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