Market Reality: Facebook Adds AR to TV, Magic Leap Gets New App from Insomniac, & Five Nights at Freddy's Debuts in AR

Facebook Adds AR to TV, Magic Leap Gets New App from Insomniac, & Five Nights at Freddy's Debuts in AR

It's the holiday season, and the tech industry is giving consumers several AR products and apps as gift-giving options.

When Facebook started shipping Portal TV on Nov. 5, it marked a milestone as the first mainstream AR device for televisions. We had a chance to run it through its paces.

Two new games, Strangelets for the Magic Leap One and Five Nights at Freddy's AR Special Delivery, for ARKit and ARCore-compatible smartphones and tablets, also arrived to entertain recipients of new AR hardware.

Finally, HBO gave Snapchat the gift of continued business with Hollywood via another immersive promotional experience.

Facebook Brings Spark AR to TV with Portal TV

When Facebook launched its first hardware products last year, the Portal and Portal+ smart displays, the company mostly touted its video-calling features as it faced off against Amazon and its Echo Show.

But Facebook also had an interesting feature that mostly flew under the radar. The Portal devices were also capable of augmented reality, with Spark AR, the platform responsible for mobile augmented reality experiences on Facebook, Messenger, and Instagram, supplying the virtual effects.

Roughly a year later, Facebook has expanded the Portal family. Read further for our impressions on the newest device, the Portal TV, and continue reading for the latest on Spark AR capabilities...

Image via Facebook

REALITY BITES: Beat Games, the maker of one of the biggest VR games in Beat Saber, has accepted an acquisition offer from Facebook subsidiary Oculus. Joining Oculus Studios, the developer will operate as an independently-operated studio out of Prague. While Beat Games' work is in the VR realm, Oculus also develops AR technology for Facebook, so the startup may get the opportunity to apply its immersive skills to AR experiences as well.

Insomniac Games Drops 'Strangelets' for Magic Leap

The end of year surprises keep on flowing from the Plantation, Florida offices of Magic Leap.

This time, it's yet another game from the company's old partner Insomniac Games, and it's called Strangelets.

Read on to learn more about Strangelets and what the timing of its release means for Magic Leap and Insomniac Games...

REALITY BITES: Two of the biggest viral sensations over the past week, the Tesla Cybertruck and Baby Yoda, quickly made their way to augmented reality thanks to Sketchfab and Snapchat. From a business perspective, these companies have demonstrated that AR's ecosystem for user-generated content is mature enough to keep up with the whims of pop culture.

Five Nights at Freddy's Arrives as AR Game from Illumix

A little over a year after emerging from stealth, augmented reality gaming startup Illumix has launched its first title using a familiar formula, but with a new twist.

On Monday, the company, working in partnership with Scott Games, launched Five Nights at Freddy's AR Special Delivery, a Pokémon GO-style location-based AR take on the popular mobile gaming horror franchise.

Continue reading to learn more about Five Nights at Freddy's AR Special Delivery and how it stands up to its AR gaming competitors...

REALITY BITES: The early access edition of the eagerly-anticipated Minecraft Earth has already garnered 2.5 million downloads. That sounds impressive, but remember that Pokémon GO shipped 32.7 million downloads in its first full week.

HBO Calls Up AR Advertising BFF Snapchat for 'His Dark Materials' Promo

As far as HBO is concerned, it's not augmented reality — it's Snapchat.

The premium cable network is leaning hard on Snapchat's AR magic tricks to promote yet another series, this time for the adaptation of Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials series of novels.

Read further to find out more about the Snapchat AR experiences for the show and HBO's proclivity to use the platform to promote its programs...

Images via Snap

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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Cover image via Insomniac Games/YouTube

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