First Vision Pro Surgery

Zuck's Vision Pro rebuttal, PICO is back, Sonar for eye-tracking and more...

Good morning, folks!

Zuck is back defending Quest 3 over the Vision Pro. In a Threads post, tech analyst Benedict Evans called out Meta engineers who say Quest 3 and Vision Pro are ‘basically the same’. Mark came running to the comments, saying, “No, we’re not saying they’re equal; we’re saying Quest is BETTER than Vision Pro.”

On an unrelated note, Meta stock plummeted 4.5% yesterday (the worst fall in 8 months) after Trump called Facebook “an enemy of the people.”

 Joel Johnson, Founder & Chief Editor

Headlines for people in a hurry:

  • 🏥Surgeons Perform UK’s First Vision Pro Operation

  • 🥽New Trademark Reveals Pico 4S Is Coming Soon

  • 👀 Researchers Find New Breakthrough In Eye-Tracking Tech

  • 🎥 Meta Is Stealing Vision Pro’s Spatial Panorama Feature

Read time: 3 minutes

TOP STORIES

HEALTHCARE

Vision Pro Surgeries: Is This The Future?

Courtesy: DailyMail

In a groundbreaking medical procedure in the UK, surgeons have utilized Apple's Vision Pro headset for the first time, marking a significant step forward in the integration of mixed reality technology in healthcare. The operation, which involved repairing a patient's spine at Cromwell Hospital in London, saw a scrub nurse working alongside the surgeon using the Vision Pro to assist in preparing for the surgery, tracking the procedure, and selecting the correct tools.

What happened:

  • During the surgery, the Vision Pro offered holographic and touch-free access to surgical information, improving the precision and confidence of the medical team.

  • The software used with Vision Pro tracks each stage of an operation, allowing for a detailed analysis of the procedure's success compared to past surgeries.

  • It was developed by US software company eXeX, which provides holographic and touch-free access to surgical setups and procedural guides, enhancing efficiency and reducing the potential for human error.

  • This use of the Vision Pro in a UK surgery follows its initial debut in an operating room in Orlando, where it was worn by Neurosurgeon Dr. Robert Masson for spine reconstruction surgeries.

Why it matters:

The application of Vision Pro in surgeries underscores the potential of mixed reality in transforming medical practices by providing real-time, hands-free access to critical information, thereby enhancing surgical outcomes. This event not only highlights the versatility of the Vision Pro beyond consumer use but also signals a new era in surgical procedures where technology and healthcare intersect more closely than ever before.

PICO

Bytedance Trademarks PICO 4S. Is It A Competitor To The Upcoming Quest 3 Lite?

Allegedly leaked Pico controllers. Courtesy: Nweon

Tiktok’s parent company, Bytedance, has trademarked "Pico 4S," hinting at the upcoming release of a new model in the Pico VR headset lineup. Before the Vision Pro release, Pico was the third most popular VR device maker after Meta and Sony.

What happened:

  • This development was first spotted through a trademark filing with the China National Intellectual Property Administration.

  • Additionally, users on a Chinese VR forum discovered icons in the Pico Connect PC VR streaming software that suggest a new controller design without the traditional tracking ring, indicating a potential hardware update for the Pico 4S.

  • The speculated Pico 4S may feature the Snapdragon XR2 Gen 2 chipset, an upgrade from the original XR2 chip used in the current Pico 4 and Quest 2, enhancing its performance capabilities.

  • This move comes after reports that the Pico 5 was canceled due to disappointing sales of the Pico 4, with ByteDance possibly aiming to refresh the Pico 4 lineup to better compete in the VR market.

Why it matters:

The introduction of the Pico 4S could signal ByteDance's strategy to refine its VR offerings by incorporating advanced technology and possibly reducing costs to compete more effectively with rivals like the rumored Quest 3 Lite. The focus on minimal fundamental changes, as suggested by the "4S" naming, indicates that the new model might primarily offer internal upgrades rather than a complete design overhaul.

RESEARCH

Sonar For Eye Tracking: Cheaper, Lighter & Efficient

Researchers at Cornell University have developed a novel eye-tracking technology for VR headsets using sonar instead of cameras, potentially making these devices more efficient and privacy-friendly. This innovative approach uses tiny speakers to emit sound waves directed at the user's face, which are then reflected and captured by microphones to determine gaze direction.

  • The sonar-based system aims to reduce the power consumption and manufacturing costs of VR headsets while enhancing user privacy by eliminating the need for camera-based eye tracking.

  • While it’s not currently as precise as camera-based systems, it is deemed sufficient for most VR applications.

  • This could also mean lighter and more comfortable headsets in the future, as sonar eliminates the need for heavy camera lenses and sensors.

  • Major Drawback: There is a need for individual calibration due to variations in eye shape among users, requiring further data collection to develop a universal model.

POLLS

How would you feel about an operation if your surgeon is wearing a VR headset?

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NEWS FLASH

META

VR Panorama Feature Coming To Quest 3

  • 📸 Meta Quest may soon allow users to view iPhone panoramas in VR, enhancing the immersive experience.

  • 🕶️ TCL launches crowdfunding campaign for RayNeo X2 glasses 

  • ⛳ Dive into a VR adventure with Mini Golf featuring Wallace & Gromit.

  • 🛌Lying down mode' is finally coming for Meta Quest 3. CTO says why Quest 2 and Pro got it first and why Quest 3 users have to wait.

  • 🎮 Meta announces the shutdown of Dead & Buried 1 & 2 in March 2024.

  • 🎭 AGOG launches The Immersive Media Institute, aiming to innovate in VR storytelling.

  • 🌌 Rick and Morty: Virtual Rick-ality to be delisted, fans urged to purchase before it's gone.

  • 🤝 Siemens and Intel join the Alliance for OpenUSD, pushing for 3D content creation standards.

  • 🚀 DPVR expands North American presence through a partnership with ASI Corp for VR headset distribution.

BOOKMARKS

Immersive Articles From The Web

  • How Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality Impact Employer Branding

  • How to Take Better Meta Quest 3 Screenshots and Recordings

  • The Meta Quest 3’s Popularity Is Proof a Cheap Vision Pro Can’t Come Soon Enough

  • MIT Star Surgeon Becomes An Avatar and Performs Operations in Virtual Reality

  • Tech Crunch: These VCs Think Vision Pro Has A Shot In Enterprise.

COMMUNITIES

Are You A VR CEO?

Leading VR entrepreneur and investor Don Stein has started a new community on the Skool platform. They’ve opened applications for 150 VR CEOs to join. VC will be joining later.

Their first 15 members have raised over $100M. members come from backgrounds of leading teams at Niantic, EA, or have previously built startups as the founder.

(Not Sponsored)

COOL APPS

CINEMA

“You must not fear, for fear is the mind-killer.”

  • Soar over Arrakis in VR with the Dune Ornithopter in Microsoft Flight Simulator, offering a thrilling flight experience.

  • Defend your kingdom from goblins and orcs in Tiny Archers, coming to Quest, Pico, and PC VR next month.

  • PSVR 2's top downloads for February 2024 highlight Legendary Tales as a hit among players.

  • CyubeVR brings a Minecraft-inspired sandbox experience to PSVR 2, featuring open-world exploration and mod support.

WRAP UP

MEME OF THE DAY

“Sign Up For Squid Games & Pay Down Your Vision Pro Debts”

Have a great week folks.

If you have any news or announcements that you’d like me to report, just send an email to [email protected]

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