The augmented reality space is no longer about if but when every company and creator will use some kind of immersive device and software to produce and distribute 3D content.
Now, a surprise new contender has entered the AR arena and it's called Campire.
The company emerged out of stealth on Tuesday, finally showing off its Campfire AR headset and system in action.
Operating from California, the company raised $8 million in funding to fuel its entry into the market and has been working with legendary design firm Frog Design as its first test client for remote collaborations using the system.
Campfire's system consists of three parts: the headset, which, design-wise, evokes visions of a cross between the HoloLens and the Meta 2 visor-based headset, a component they call the Console, which is used to anchor 3D virtual content, and the Pack, a device that you can attach to a smartphone to use as a controller for the immersive content experience.
"Working virtually, across the globe, Campfire gives frog's dispersed teams the ability to make creative decisions much more quickly," said Graeme Waitzkin, venture design lead at Frog Design. "Campfire truly represents the future of remote collaboration for design and engineering teams."
We haven't had a chance to test out the system, but the demonstration videos look impressive, so far. Aside from the name (which many will likely confuse for the old chat client), Campfire looks like a promising new entry into the mid-tier AR space focused on enterprise, design, and training use cases.
However, the company has yet to reveal the price for the system, so we'll have to wait until that information becomes available before truly assessing its chances versus the various existing AR players.
The company plans to open availability to the system to the public this fall, but anyone looking for earlier access can apply for Campfire's Pioneer Program on the company's website.
Update: It turns out that Campfire is actually what was once known as Meta View, the company that acquired the patents from Meta, the startup that ran out of cash back in 2019, a story Next Reality broke first.
The reveal of Meta View's transformation into Campfire comes via Avi Bar-Zeev, Campfire's "founding advisor." On Tuesday, following the company's official announcement, Bar-Zeev said on Twitter, "Is this the reincarnation of Meta? No... It owns IP from Meta."
And while nothing on the company's website or official announcement reveals the transition from the "Meta View" name to the Campfire name and new branding, the official launch documentation mentions that the system is "built on a foundation of more than 60 patents," without direct reference to the original sources of those patents. Nevertheless, like Meta View, which initially announced Jay Wright as its CEO, Wright will now lead the Campfire team.