Market Reality: Auto Industry Ramps Up AR Use via Microsoft & Snapchat

Auto Industry Ramps Up AR Use via Microsoft & Snapchat

Between Renault Truck's testing of the HoloLens in factories and BMW promoting its newest model through Snapchat, the auto industry is hot for augmented reality to improve internal operations and engage consumers.

Meanwhile, though Apple has made its initial play for AR with ARKit, it's continuing to ramp up its hardware development with a new acquisition.

Microsoft Chosen by Renault Truck for AR in Engine Quality Control

French manufacturer Renault Trucks is looking to the HoloLens to improve quality control processes with its engine assembly operations.

An internal incubation team of about 20 employees is collaborating with technology partner Immersion to design a prototype of the application, which is in testing at the company's Lyon-based facility.

Image by Renault Trucks/YouTube

Read more to find out how Renault's AR implementation compares to efforts from other manufacturing operations...

REALITY BITES: Information Age explores how augmented reality is already transforming the retail industry, bringing advantages to businesses and their customers.

Snapchat Debuts Augmented Trial Lens with BMW

Snapchat has broken new ground in its augmented reality advertising efforts, as BMW has opted to show off its new X2 model in AR with the Augmented Trial Lens.

Users who opt in to the experience via ads running between user or publisher stories (or scan the corresponding Snapcode) can place a 3D model of the sedan in their physical environment. While the vehicle appears in gold by default, Snapchatters can also repaint the car in red and blue. Users can also peer inside the vehicle.

Read more to find out how BMW is steering the auto world into the next phase of immersive promotions...

Images via Snap, Inc., BMW Group/YouTube

REALITY BITES: So your business wants to develop a mobile augmented reality app, but you're not sure how much it'll cost? In a post on Medium, ThinkMobiles breaks down the AR app development process from idea to execution, with the estimated level of effort and cost for each stage.

Apple Acquires Headset Maker to Advance Hardware Ambitions

Just days after we found out that Apple is working on its own augmented reality headset, we now learn that the company is accelerating its AR headset efforts with the acquisition of Montreal-based hardware maker Vrvana.

As Techcrunch reported on Nov. 21, Apple paid about $30 million to bring the company and its team aboard.

Image by Vrvana/YouTube

Apple's AR headset is expected to be completed by 2019 with a 2020 launch. Additionally, the company is expected to include rear-facing, AR-capable depth sensors in its iPhones in 2019.

Read more to find out how this acquisition may impact Apple's AR headset roadmap...

REALITY BITES: AR startup Lightform has raised $5 million in its latest funding round, bringing its total funding to $7.8 million. Its product, a computer that converts old projectors into structured light generators for AR content, is currently in alpha testing, with pre-orders expected to open next year in the range of $1,000 for each device.

Every Week, 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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Cover image via Renault Trucks

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