While Apple's AR wearables development continues clandestinely, its mobile ecosystem is laying the foundation for the software side of its smartglasses, with Apple Arcade serving as the latest example.
Google does have its own smartglasses in the wild, but it is squarely focused on enterprise users, for now. And the company just made it easier for those customers to buy them.
Finally, as one AR headset maker falls, another rises. Say goodbye to Daqri and hello to Lynx.
With No Time to Die, the 25th installment in the James Bond saga, arriving in April and Black Widow, the first solo film for the Marvel Cinematic Universe's own secret agent, following a month later, what better way to get in the espionage mood than some augmented reality spy gaming?
As luck would have it, Apple and game developer Mixed Bag are ready to satisfy that itch with Secret Oops!, a multiplayer puzzle game set in a cartoonish spy world that's anchored in the players' environment via ARKit's plane detection capabilities.
Read further to learn more about the game and how Apple Arcade fits into the AR ecosystem for Apple's future smartglasses...
REALITY BITES: In prepared remarks for his company's fourth quarter and fiscal year 2019 earnings webcast, Snap CEO Evan Spiegel reaffirmed his leadership team's commitment to continued investment in augmented reality technology, particularly through its Lens Studio AR creation platform. The results Snapchat achieved during the fourth quarter underscore why. For example, on New Year's Eve 2019, 200 million Snapchat users interacted with augmented reality 13 billion (with a "b") times, a 50% increase over the previous holiday. Approximately 20% of those AR experiences were built with Lens Studio, compared to 5% on New Year's Eve 2018.
Last December, Google unceremoniously killed off Google Glass Explorer Edition with a final software update, leaving the Glass Enterprise Edition 2 as the only remaining AR wearable from Google.
Now, Google is making it easier for enterprise customers and developers to acquire a pair of their smartglasses by enabling them to purchase the device directly from hardware resellers.
Continue reading for more details on how enterprises and developers can get their hands on Glass Enterprise Edition 2 and where the wearable stands in the enterprise smartglasses market...
REALITY BITES: After poaching several Google employees over the years for their AR/VR team, Facebook has begun to recruit key personnel from other tech companies as well. The latest example comes via Brian Irving, former chief marketing officer at Eventbrite, who will serve as AR/VR marketing lead for Facebook. The company also has openings for product designers and product design managers for AR/VR.
After closing its office last year, enterprise AR company Daqri has moved on to the final stage of its lifecycle with the liquidation of its assets.
Hilco Streambank, who also administered the patent sale of former smartglasses maker Osterholt Design Group (ODG), and Rock Creek Advisors will handle the sale of Daqri's patent portfolio.
Read further for more details on what is for sale and how the downfall of Daqri and other AR startups sounds a warning for others...
REALITY BITES: SK Telecom is opening a Microsoft Mixed Reality Studio this spring in South Korea. Dubbed Jump Studio jumpstudio.co.kr, it will be the first Asia-based volumetric capture studio using Microsoft's technology.
The first headset running on the Qualcomm Snapdragon XR2 chipset from an original equipment manufacturer is official.
On Monday at the San Francisco Photonics West conference, startup Lynx unveiled the Lynx Mixed Reality Headset. The headset is a $1500 passthrough AR/VR wearable with dual 1600 x 1600 pixel displays and 90 degrees field of view, resulting in 18 pixels per degree, and a four-fold catadioptric freeform prism serving as the optics engine.
Continue reading to learn more about the headset and how Lynx and Qualcomm are signaling the start of a new category in AR headsets...
REALITY BITES: Canon is primarily known as a camera company but augmented reality headsets have cameras, too. The company has a sequel to its Mreal enterprise headset in the works called the Mreal Display MD-20 with a 70-degree horizontal field of view.
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.