Market Reality: Apple, Niantic, Intel & Facebook Pursue the Trophy in the Super Bowl of AR

Apple, Niantic, Intel & Facebook Pursue the Trophy in the Super Bowl of AR

With the Super Bowl just days away, it seems appropriate to draw parallels between football and the professional sport of technology business, or, more specifically, the augmented reality segment.

Like the Patriots and Eagles, businesses have to deal with the media, as Apple did this week with its quarterly earnings report. While teams try to keep their game plans or organizational strategy a secret, occasionally those plans leak, as Intel discovered this week.

And, just like football teams in the offseason, tech companies recruit or acquire talent and assets that will give them a competitive advantage, like Facebook did in welcoming a former Google employee, and as Niantic did in its acquisition of Escher Reality.

So, in essence, following your favored tech company and its business success is a lot like cheering on your chosen team to victory.

Apple Plays Up AR in Earnings Report

Prior to Apple's earnings report on Thursday, the storm clouds were gathering as Wall Street prepared for bad news in the wake of reports of slower iPhone sales. But it turns out that those fears were mostly unwarranted. Apple managed to increase iPhone revenue during the December quarter, despite selling slightly fewer phones.

But buried amid all the hardware revenue talk were a few interesting comments regarding augmented reality from Apple's CEO, Tim Cook.

See what he had to say. And, if you're an Apple investor (or fanboy), you can celebrate your team's financial win with this celebratory song:

REALITY BITES: Adweek recently explored the some of the ways augmented reality is already disrupting the customer experience through advertising, purchasing, and customer service.

Niantic Adds Multiplayer AR Platform Through Escher Reality Acquisition

Soon, Pokémon GO allies attacking a raid boss at a gym will be able to do so together in augmented reality.

The game's developer, Niantic Labs, announced on Thursday via a blog post that it has acqui-hired Escher Reality, an augmented reality and computer vision developer that specializes in multi-player experiences, for an undisclosed sum.

Read on to find out how the acquisition impacts Niantic's apps, and the AR market in general...

REALITY BITES: In a feature from Wired UK, DAQRI gives some insight into its pivot from AR innovation and invention to sales and growth.

Intel AR Division Preparing Consumer AR Smarglasses

Intel Corp.'s augmented reality division could ship consumer-focused smartglasses before the end of the year, according to reports.

On Thursday, citing anonymous sources, Bloomberg reported that contract manufacturer Quanta Computer Inc. is producing the AR headset. Known internally as Superlite, the device is said to pair with smartphones via Bluetooth and projects information into the user's field of view.

That name Quanta sounds familiar, doesn't it? Read on to remind yourself why...

Image by Lumus/YouTube

REALITY BITES: Occipital closed a $15 million Series C round of funding this week. The company will apply the funds to building on its machine learning "perception engine" for augmented and virtual reality and home robotics.

Facebook Snags AR Product Head from Google

Facebook just ratcheted up its ongoing augmented reality war against the competition by stealing away Google's director of product for AR, Nikhil Chandhok. In his new role, the executive will serve as Facebook's director of product on the company's Camera/AR team.

Over the past year, Facebook's AR efforts have centered on its Camera Effects platform, which gives users the same kind of front-facing camera effects made famous by Snapchat. The latest version of the platform allows developers and brands to create their own AR masks.

The timing of the move isn't great for Google...

Image via Facebook

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.

Cover image via Facebook

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