This week, Next Reality published its annual feature on the leaders in the augmented reality industry, the Next Reality 30. So it's no coincidence that the companies represented in the top four spots of the NR30 also made business headlines in AR this week.
While Magic Leap is striking new deals with content makers for its recently launched Magic Leap One AR headset, Snap, Inc. gave us a preview of what future mainstream AR smartglasses might look like with its latest line of Spectacles camera glasses.
Elsewhere, a former Apple designer and the current CEO at Unity shared their visions on the future impact of augmented reality technology on consumers' lives.
From the AR apps in your pocket to the cutting edge headsets that are gradually making their way into the marketplace, none of these milestones are occurring without a great deal of creativity and innovation forcefully pushing the boundaries of what's possible in AR.
While the rest of the tech industry focuses on the more obvious tech challenges and solutions in front of them using established platforms and concepts, a select group of innovators is looking deeper into the future to imagine what might be. But they're not just imagining the next generation of computing, they're creating it, even if, in some cases, the benefits and rewards of their work aren't readily apparent to most in the 2018 technology sphere.
The members of the NR30 all share three essential traits: courage, vision, and the ability to execute on that vision. It's these pioneers of immersive computing — whether you call it mixed reality, spatial computing, or augmented reality — that the NR30 is designed to recognize and celebrate for their risk-taking and massive bets on our collective future.
Over the next few weeks, we'll focus on what each NR30 person has meant to five different categories in the AR arena: hardware, software, investments, mobile, and industry influencers/community builders. Be on the lookout for those in-depth features coming soon, but first, let's dive into the full list of honorees...
REALITY BITES: For augmented reality to continue to show its worth in the mobile ecosystem, developers and app publishers need to be able to realize a return on investment. Leave it to market research mainstay Nielsen to fill in a solution for gathering market intelligence on games, including those of the augmented and virtual reality variety, through the recent acquisition of SuperData Research.
The critics of Magic Leap have been circling for a couple of weeks now, but that isn't stopping the company from pushing forward with major new partnerships. The latest Magic Leap tie-up is with none other than motion capture actor Andy Serkis and his UK-based The Imaginarium Studios.
"In using performance capture, we have the opportunity to authentically portray the intent of the actor," said Matthew Brown, CEO of The Imaginarium Studios, in a statement on Magic Leap's website. "With Magic Leap's technology, that performance is pulled off the screen and into the world of the viewer. This is storytelling as it should be: immersive, personal, and integrated into our world."
Read on to find out how the man behind Gollum and his studio fit into the Magicverse crafted by Magic Leap...
REALITY BITES: The consumer segment represents the most profitable future of AR, but commercial applications represent its lucrative present. The latest example comes through a partnership between Fieldbit and InfinityAR to develop smartglasses focused on field services functions.
While they don't do augmented reality just yet, the latest styles of Snapchat's Spectacles 2 camera glasses serve as a peek into the future of how mainstream AR wearables may look.
On Wednesday, the company unveiled two new styles, Nico and Veronica, that expand its Spectacles 2 lineup. The new glasses eschew the rounded style of the original for a design that resembles those of designer sunglasses.
Read more about the latest versions of Snap's camera glasses and how they serve as a placeholder in the transition between mobile AR and smartglasses. Then, learn why Snapchat's Sponsored Lenses have become a popular destination for promoting motion pictures.
REALITY BITES: Universal Studios continues to lean on augmented reality to promote its summer tentpole, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom. In its latest endeavor, the company again opted for Facebook's AR platform for an experience tied to the home video release of the movie.
Despite the launch of ARKit a year ago, and ARCore this year, a true killer app has not arrived for either platform, that's according to the head honcho for one of the leading development environments for 3D applications.
In an interview at TechCrunch Disrupt on Wednesday, Unity CEO John Riccitiello outlined his view of the current AR and VR landscape as it relates to mainstream adoption.
Like Riccitiello, Ken Kocienda, former human interface designer at Apple, believes AR is the next big paradigm in technological innovation. Read more about what Kocienda said about AR while promoting his new book...
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.