Market Reality: Air Force Gets Immersive, Crypto's AR Future, Inside Amazon's Echo Frames, & Metaverse Goes Mainstream

Air Force Gets Immersive, Crypto's AR Future, Inside Amazon's Echo Frames, & Metaverse Goes Mainstream

The march to the mainstreaming of augmented reality can sometimes seem slow, but this week things picked up in earnest.

From the launch of a new US government initiative to secure augmented reality experts, to the US Air Force deploying a cutting-edge immersive solution, work spaces that are usually rigid and wed to old ways are now opening up to AR.

We also delve into the world of face-based wearables, and how they are setting the stage for AR smartglasses, and then touch upon the murky and mysterious world of blockchain and why it's not just about bitcoin, and promises a better AR future that doesn't just begin and end with NFT auctions.

Also, be sure to check out our new job alerts below for the latest positions opening up at the leading AR companies.

Our Echo Fames Review Details How Amazon Is Setting the Stage for AR Smartglasses

Part of the mainstreaming of augmented reality is learning to adopt new habits around the hardware delivering these groundbreaking next-gen interface experiences.

And while the top-tier, truly immersive AR devices like the HoloLens are not yet practical for day-long use, what is obvious to those who have been tracking the space is that AR wearables are pretty much inevitable at this point, despite the technical hurdles involved.

Continue reading for more to find out how Amazon is paving the way for our AR smartglasses future, today...

Image by Adario Strange/Next Reality

REALITY BITES: Following Lenovo's somewhat rough first stab at launching into the augmented reality wearables space, the company updated its approach with the new ThinkReality A3 smartglasses. Now, after a lot of build up, the device is finally available for purchase.

Why the Future of the AR Cloud and the Metaverse Is Crypto

On this platform, we talk a lot about the future of augmented reality, and we pay attention to what is being said elsewhere as well.

Sometimes the future chatter is about the hardware. Even more frequently, in recent months, the discussion is about the future of the AR cloud, or, as some like to call it, the metaverse. But the thing that seems to be missing in many of these discussions is the issue of trust.

Read further to learn how blockchain technology and cryptocurrency will play a major part in the future of augmented reality platforms...

Image via Facebook

REALITY BITES: This week, Facebook unveiled its Horizon Workrooms product, a VR-centric application designed to facilitate collaborations between remote teams in different offices. We've already tried it and have some thoughts incoming, but the first thing you should know is that the app, which is built for the Oculus Quest 2, relies heavily on the device's passthrough cameras. As a result, there are some very interesting augmented reality use cases that may be in the offing. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg launched the product by sitting for an extended interview with CBS This Morning.

Startup Lands Major AR Contract with the Most Tech-Savvy Branch of the Military

The emergence of Microsoft's HoloLens 2 as a cutting-edge US Army tool has focused a spotlight on the marriage between augmented reality and the military.

Now a new startup is leveraging that interest in a different way by harnessing AR technology to assist the US Air Force, powered by recent funding and a new military-related contract.

Keep reading to discover the startup powering the military's latest foray into the world of augmented reality battle training...

Image by EAA/YouTube

JOB ALERTS: Facebook is hiring a software engineer for its Facebook Reality Labs team. The role can be either remote or at the company's Seattle office. Snap is looking for a product designer to join its augmented reality team in Los Angeles. Niantic is looking for an engineering manager to join the team building its augmented reality wearable device. The position can be held in the company's San Francisco, Seattle, or Sunnyvale, California offices.

Now Even the IRS Is Using AR to Handle the Digitization of Information

The US Department of Treasury isn't generally known for being on the very edge of technology innovations (see the current hubbub around crypto), instead usually waiting until certain tools have been battle-tested in the mainstream or enterprise sector.

Well, it looks like augmented reality has quietly passed that test as the US Internal Revenue Service is now looking to harness the powers of immersive technology.

Read further to find out how the usually old school branch of the US government is catapulting its way into the future on the back of augmented reality software...

REALITY BITES: In an unlikely twist of fate, it turns out that Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg is the one taking the AR cloud mainstream by referring to it as "the metaverse" (a term coined by science fiction author Neal Stephenson in his 1992 book Snow Crash). Predictably, primarily because of the internet's obsession with mocking anything Zuck-related, we now have a huge wave of mainstream outlets attempting to weigh in on the metaverse.

Snap Snatches Execs from Facebook in War for AR Innovation

The battle for augmented reality and social media supremacy starts with the people working behind the scenes, and this week Snap pulled off a telling win that could indicate a shift in the AR space.

Facebook veteran Konstantinos "KP" Papamiltiadis, who spent nearly a decade at the social media giant, has left his post as an executive on Mark Zuckerberg's team and will join Snap as vice president of platform partnerships.

Continue reading to find out why this and another executive shuffle is a clue as to where the AR wind is blowing...

Every Friday, Next Reality reviews the latest headlines from the financial side of augmented and mixed reality. This weekly Market Reality column covers funding announcements, mergers and acquisitions, market analysis, and the like. Check out previous editions of Market Reality for more news you may have missed.

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Cover image via CBS This Morning/YouTube

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