In September 2021, Patently Apple posted a report titled “Samsung is working on AR Smartglasses that could provide users with Virtual Desktop Functionality at any time and on the go.” A key image from that report is presented as our cover graphic above. The second that I read about this, it was inevitable that this would be one of the killer apps for AR Glasses or an XR Headset. Of course the idea was first covered in an Apple patent.
While Apple’s marketing approach is still shrouded in secrecy, Apple’s headset OS, rumored to be unveiled as ‘xrOS,’ will reportedly run iOS apps and may introduce a macOS simulator, according to Mark Gurman. That feature alone would technically provide Mac users with a mobile desktop experience for the home and on-the-go, allowing the Headset display to provide users with a working display that could mimic a 32″ or much larger display to work with. This isn’t a day dream, Apple already patented this back in 2018 and was granted a patent for it in 2020. One of Apple’s patent figures is presented below.
This could be a killer app and a new company by the name of ‘Sightful’ might be first to market with this concept that could be a popular trend in the coming years.
The company developed a new portable device that they’re branding a Spacetop, a new category of PC that takes the traditional laptop and completely reimagines it. Powered by their unique AR operating system, it creates a massive virtual workspace that functions as a private, personal and portable home office, working with AR Glasses. Their promotional video is presented below.
The CEO of the company, Tamir Berliner, worked at PrimeSense, a company that Apple acquired back in 2013. After the acquisition, he eventually moved on to work for Magic Leap in Tel Aviv before becoming the CEO and co-founder of Sightful in July 2020, according to his LinkedIn Profile. His partner is Tomer kahan who is COO worked at Magic Leap, Broadcom and N-Trig that was acquired by Microsoft.
The company noted in their press release today that their new Spacetop was in development for three years. Laptop. Created by a team of more than 60 spatial computing experts, including veterans from Apple, Microsoft, and Magic Leap, Spacetop represents the next generation in personal computing and the first application of Augmented Reality that seamlessly fits into users’ daily lives. With customized hardware and a proprietary spatial environment, Spacetop leverages AR to remove the physical constraints of standard laptops. The result is a first-of-its kind product that allows users to carry with them a massive, private, virtual workspace designed and customized by the user to be their most creative self, no matter where they are – all in a familiar laptop form factor.
“Two worlds sit at a crossroads: Laptops are the centerpiece of our daily working lives, but the technology has not evolved with the modern, work from anywhere, privacy matters, ‘road warrior’ mentality. Meanwhile, augmented reality is full of potential and promise, but is yet to find its daily use case,” said Tamir Berliner, CEO and co-founder of Sightful. “We are at the perfect moment for a significant paradigm shift in a device we all know and love, and Spacetop Early Access is the first step in that journey.”
Designed specifically for the “work from anywhere” movement, Spacetop takes full advantage of Augmented Reality to transform the world around users into a portable home office.
With a more than 100” virtual canvas, Spacetop users design their perfect working environment – unclutteredand organized in the exact way that helps them focus and do their best work. Unconstrained by 13”-16” screens that lead to endless tabs, buried applications, and constant window switching, Spacetop users are able to focus, with their key applications visible and accessible at any moment, all overlaid on the real world, while users still remain present in the real world.
The result is an experience that delivers:
- Intuitive Augmented Reality: Spacetop operates seamlessly and intuitively as a laptop. Users enjoy a familiar but dramatically expanded experience in AR with no complicated gesture controls to learn, and no external hardware or software awkwardly integrated with non-AR devices.
- Limitless Digital Workspace: Spacetop users carry a multi-monitor setup as large as their work requires, whether sitting on a couch in their home, working over breakfast at a local café, or squeezed into an airplane seat on a cross-country flight.
- Privacy by Design: The Spacetop work environment, called the Canvas, and the user’s work, are completely invisible to those who are not using the device. No more wandering eyes from nosy neighbors, no more privacy screen filters.
“Spacetop is the bridge between ‘reality’ and augmented reality, combining the utility and versatility of a laptop with the magic of painting information on the world around us,” said Marvin Tien, Partner at Corner Ventures. “Corner is committed to leveraging all its connections across Asia Pacific, Europe, and anywhere else in the world where our network may reach to help align the Sightful team with the right leaders across spatial computing, personal computing, and product innovation.”
The Spacetop Early Access program is now open with 1000 early adopters invited to join. At the moment the company has stated what the price of their Spacetop will go for.
At the end of the day, it’s the trend that’s worth noting here. I personally think that this could be a killer app that’s not too far off into the future and one that Apple’s engineers have been working on for year. When you think about it, why would you buy an iMac or PC with a 32″ display when you could be working with up to a 100″ virtual canvas using AR devices. Being portable makes it priceless.
With Apple working on a headset display offering 7,000ppi in the future, it would be mind blowing to work with graphics or for viewing medical scans and so much more.
What are your thoughts on AR-based PCs? Send in your feedback in the comment section below or on our Twitter feed.