Apple Vision Pro, Reddit layoffs, Meta and more

Bite-sized updates about tech news you might have missed in this week's Tech C Siew Dai

A composite of the tech giant Apple's Vision Pro and Reddit's logo
Apple announced a new VR headset called the Vision Pro, and Reddit is cutting back on its workforce, all in this week's tech news. (Photo: Getty Images)

Here is a roundup of the tech news that you may have missed this week.

Apple announces the Apple Vision Pro, their first VR headset

Apple has announced their first ever virtual reality (VR) headset, aptly named the Apple Vision Pro.

Announced at Apple's annual keynote event, the Worldwide Developers Conference 2023 edition, the headset is touted to release for a whopping US$3,499.

Unlike the headsets currently in the market, the Vision Pro will rely entirely on voice input and gestures instead of external controls.

Apple is also including a feature called EyeSight, which will display the user's face on the headset's exterior so that people can see the device's user.

Apple says that you are able to use apps like Safari and Disney+ on the headset while still interacting with people in the real world. It sounds like the Vision Pro could be your smart phone or mobile device that is attached to your eyes.

You are also able to pair it with Apple's Magic Keyboard, if you prefer a more traditional set up.

Oddly enough, Apple seems to only pair the headset with a small sized battery to make it as light as possible for mobility. Do note that the final specifications is subject to change, Since it will only be releasing next year, Apple may or may not add a bigger-sized battery for the Vision Pro for it to last a little longer.

IMDA Singapore and Amazon Web Services launches Joint Innovation Centre

Speaking of new projects, Singapore's Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) and Amazon Web Services (AWS) launched the first Joint Innovation Centre (JIC) in Southeast Asia on 5 June.

This physical space is housed within IMDA’s Innovation Hub, PIXEL, and is equipped with specialised labs that include AR/VR, 5G, and usability testing facilities.

It also aims to provide start-ups with access to the latest tech showcases and demonstrations, among many others, as well as project-based consultation by IMDA and AWS’s experts.

The centre will also have exhibits showcasing tech solutions from AWS and from start-ups that are part of IMDA’s initiatives such as the Accreditation and Spark programmes, which will be refreshed every four to six months.

The launch day saw AWS’s Generative AI image creation model, a solution for efficient energy management, an AI for automated interior inspection, among many others.

Reddit lays off staff, cost saving measures

With a 2,000-strong employee base, Reddit is looking to lay off 90 employees due to restructuring efforts.

On top of that, they will also slow down on employee hiring this year, with a projected 100 new employee intake rather than 300 as planned.

To also save on costs, Reddit will now charge a fee to developers who require access to the "Application Programming Interface" (API) of Reddit.

Although this seems like a good move for companies wanting to create apps and interface for the widely used informative website, smaller API users are also subjected to this fee.

Apps like Narwhal and Reddit is Fun have already warned its users that they can't afford paying for Reddit's API and will likely shut down.

Meta requires staff to be in office three times a week

Following massive layoffs in it's "Year of Efficiency", Meta is requiring its office-assigned staff to come back to their respective offices at least three times a week starting from 5 September.

Meta currently has a remote work policy. Although projected to reopen its offices in 2021, The COVID-19 variants delayed Meta's push for a return to office.

Although that was the case, Meta's contractors were required to return to office anyway in 2022, as opposed to full-time employees. This led to a protest by the contract workers, as the COVID-19 variants could have still put some at risk.

The haze is coming back to Singapore. What can you do?

So apparently the haze is going to come back soon enough to Malaysia and Singapore due to El Nino.

One of the steps is to get an air purifier. We just reviewed the LG PuriCare 360 HIT recently, and it is one of the few options that you can use to clear the air in the room.

If you would like to check out the other options for cheaper purifiers, you can also do so here.

Besides buying an air purifier, you are also able to get some N95 masks if you are going outdoors. Although it is uncertain how bad the haze will be this time around, the N95 doubles up its effectiveness this time around, being able to protect you from the haze and also infections, like the dreaded COVID-19.

Dominic loves tech and games. When he is not busy watercooling his computer parts, he does some pro wrestling.

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