Contrary to many predictions, there was no AR or VR announcement at WWDC 2022 but there was one announcement that was very exciting for me, which I believe will be revolutionary for the 360 industry: the Continuity Camera and its Desk View.
Many people were anticipating that Apple would show at least a teaser for their mixed reality VR headset at WWDC. However, there was no mention of AR or VR at all. Nonetheless, WWDC had one announcement that will be extremely important for the 360 industry.
At WWDC, Apple showed macOS 16’s Continuity Camera, which lets users use their iPhone as a webcam that can do things that were previously impossible. For example, it appears to use the LiDAR sensor in some iPhones in order to identify the subject accurately and apply portrait lighting or blur the background.
Continuity Camera also has a very cool feature called Desk View. Like a regular webcam, you can see the person speaking. But in addition, the user can show an overhead view of their desk, as though there was another camera suspended above the table and showing a bird’s eye view of it.
In my opinion, Desk View will have huge ramifications for the 360 industry. This feature is made possible by using the iPhone’s ultra wide angle lens, then altering the perspective in order to simulate an overhead view, similar to the way that many cars show a 360 overhead view. This has an impact on the 360 industry in the short term and the long term.
If using the iPhone’s ultra wide lens can produce such a view with a 122-degree lens, imagine how much more useful it would be with a 180-degree lens or a 360-degree lens. If people see how useful Desk View is, it will give Apple and other smartphone manufacturers a reason to put a 180-degree or even a 360-degree lens in smartphones, which I believe can happen within 5 years. I also expect that it will be possible to do realtime perspective correction, i.e., you can see the same apparent perspective of the desk or anything else flat in the room regardless of how you move the 360 lens in the smartphone, either using the gyro, the LiDAR, computer vision, or a combination of those technologies. That technology can easily be used for 360 cameras as well to take reframing to the next level.
Even in the short term, Desk View will have an impact on the 360 industry. It educates consumers about the value of reframing. Consumers who see how useful reframing is for Desk View will more easily see and understand the value of reframing with a 360 camera to get any angle you want.
What do you think? Will Desk View have an indirect but significant impact on the 360 industry or not? Let me know in the comments!