Market Reality: Apple's Smartglasses Timeline Shifts, Continental Invests in Automotive HUDS, & Target Ships Web AR App

Apple's Smartglasses Timeline Shifts, Continental Invests in Automotive HUDS, & Target Ships Web AR App

Consumers are chomping at the bit for augmented reality smartglasses from Cupertino's finest, but one market analyst is saying not so fast, Apple fans. Meanwhile, automotive AR is gaining speed, with the latest milestone coming courtesy of a major investment in waveguides by Continental. And although mobile AR apps have already arrived, retailer Target is taking a different approach. So why is Target tinkering with web-based AR? Answers below...

Analyst Predicts Apple's AR Headset Won't Arrive Until 2021

Noted analyst Gene Munster is predicting that Apple's initial entry into the augmented reality wearables category will be a year later than previous reports have estimated.

The managing partner at Loup Ventures published a report on Thursday regarding Apple's new product categories, covering his assessment of the current technology landscape as well as public perception of wearables for an extended timeline for Apple's smartglasses product.

"We are pushing back our expected release of Apple Glasses from September of 2020 to December of 2021 based on recent meetings with several AR industry experts." wrote Munster. "While these people do not have direct knowledge of Apple's plans, it is becoming clear that, as a category, AR glasses are a few years away."

Read on for more details on his reasoning for why Apple's AR headset is taking longer to get to market (and why this isn't necessarily a bad thing)...

REALITY BITES: According to DigiDay, the cost for Snapchat's AR Lenses for advertisers have dropped from upwards of $1 million per day to about $40,000 per day plus cost per million impressions between $8 and $20. This could help stoke interest in AR marketing, or it could be a signal that some are still chilly on the idea of immersive promos.

DigiLens Sees $25M from Continental for Automotive HUD

Waveguide manufacturer DigiLens has closed a $25 million Series C round of funding from automotive technology company Continental, which uses the technology in its heads up displays.

Along with its previous investment in DigiLens in 2017, Continental holds an 18% stake in the company. Thorsten-Alexander Kern, head of HUD product development for the Instrumentation & Drive HMI business unit at Continental, will also join DigiLens board of directors as part of the funding deal.

Keep reading to find out why Continental is hot for DigiLens and its waveguide technology...

REALITY BITES: Cortney Harding, head of VR/AR creative and strategy at Friends With Holograms and adjunct professor at NYU, predicts augmented reality will eventually make billboards obsolete.

YouCam Powers Target's AR Web App for Cosmetics

Department store chain Target is the latest retailer to offer an augmented reality cosmetics app for customers to virtually try on lipstick.

For its Beauty Studio web app, Target uses the YouCam platform offered by Perfect Corp. Available through Target.com via any desktop web browser, as well as mobile (specifically, Safari for iOS and Chrome for Android), shoppers can try on 88 products, such as lipstick, eyeliner, blush, and more, from 10 brands, including Cover Girl, L'Oreal Paris, and Revlon, among others.

Target appears to favor web AR experiences for its shoppers, read on to learn why...

Image by Tommy Palladino/Next Reality

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 Continental

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