Market Reality: Apple's Acquisition of Leap Motion Fails, While Snapchat & Magic Leap Make AR Fashionable

Apple's Acquisition of Leap Motion Fails, While Snapchat & Magic Leap Make AR Fashionable

This week, inside sources divulged details of how Apple nearly acquired Leap Motion, twice. Otherwise, companies offering or working on augmented reality technology had more successes than failures to talk about.

For instance, the AR industry's courtship with the fashion world took a few glamorous steps forward, with Levi's selling an exclusive Disney product through Snapchat and Magic Leap hitting the runway with Moschino and H&M.

On the investment front, LetinAR closed a funding round for its AR display technology. And, in mobile AR business, Travelocity and Walmart added AR experiences to their mobile apps to cater to their customers.

Another Apple Attempt to Acquire Leap Motion Fell Through Earlier This Year

In recent years, Apple has assembled its augmented reality team and supply chain through a series of acquisitions, high-profile hires, and strategic investments, but at least one potentially major deal was recently ditched.

According to sources in contact with Business Insider, Leap Motion, the motion-tracking technology startup working on AR solutions, was nearly one of those acquisitions. However, the acquisition talks fell through not once, but twice, according to the report.

Continue reading to find out why the deal went south, how Leap Motion might have fit into Apple's rumored smartglasses plans, and how Apple might proceed without the pairing...

Image by Leap Motion/YouTube

REALITY BITES: While the enterprise sector of AR is ahead of consumer AR in terms of adoption, there's still plenty of room for growth. A survey of 248 enterprises conducted by Atheer reveals that 53% of respondents were testing or piloting AR implementations, with just 13% having deployed AR solutions companywide.

Levi's Tries on Snapchat's Shoppable AR for Size with Exclusive Disney Denim Cap

Snapchat continues to deepen its roster of clients adopting its Shoppable AR Lens, with clothing giant Levi's and Disney becoming the latest brands to try on the e-commerce platform for size.

Accessible via a Snapcode posted on Twitter and on display in the Disney Springs Levi's store, the augmented reality experience places a virtual rendering of a Mickey Mouse denim cap, with a smile from the user triggering a background and foreground effects within the frame.

Keep reading to find out more about the AR and e-commerce experience and who else Snap has sold on the Shoppable AR platform, then, read further to find out how Snap is extending its AR camera to desktops...

Image by Levi's/Twitter

REALITY BITES: In another sign of turmoil at Snap, Bloomberg reports that Snap CEO Evan Spiegel retracted an offer to promote VP Kristen O'Hara to chief business officer, instead hiring former Amazon executive Jeremi Gorman. As a result, O'Hara has resigned from Snap, stinging the company with yet another high profile executive departure as users decline and onlookers wonder what Spiegel's long-term plans for the company are.

LetinAR Raises $3.6M for AR Display Tech

Smartglasses and AR headset makers like Microsoft, Magic Leap, and Google (and aspiring AR wearables makers like Apple and Snapchat) need display components for their products, and LetinAR is among the companies ready to supply those components.

The Korean startup has just closed a $3.6 million Series A funding round, led by Kakao Ventures, Naver Corporation, DSC Investment, Korea Asset Investment Securities, and Platinum Technology Investment, which will enable the company to ramp up production.

Learn more about LetinAR's display technology, how it differs from existing competitors, and why investors are keen on funding AR display makers...

REALITY BITES: If retailers need more proof of the effectiveness of AR in their marketing efforts, a new report from PYMNTS is here to sway them. The report features a case study of the Lowe's Home Improvement's try-before-you-buy AR tool, which increased sales conversions by 50%.

Magic Leap One Makes Fashion World Debut via Moschino & H&M

Magic Leap has already entered the realm of entertainment and enterprise, but on now it has blazed its way into a new augmented reality frontier: fashion.

On Wednesday, Moschino and H&M held a fashion show in New York City that, in addition to the traditional runway model vamping, included an AR fashion presentation powered by the Magic Leap One.

Read further about the experience and how Magic Leap One appeals to the fashion world...

Travelocity & Walmart Add AR Features to Their Mobile Apps

In the latest example of non-tech companies taking on augmented reality marketing, online travel site Travelocity has added an AR version of its Roaming Gnome mascot to its mobile app.

Meanwhile, Walmart has gone in different direction for retail AR experiences by bringing shoppers an augmented reality tool to help them compare products they want to buy.

Continue reading about the AR features introduced by Travelocity and Walmart, and how each experience fits into their respective business plans...

Images via Travelocity, Tim Fields/Vimeo

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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