Market Reality: Facebook AR & Space Jam, Virgin Galactic AR App, Asics NFTs, & Shark Week on Snapchat

Facebook AR & Space Jam, Virgin Galactic AR App, Asics NFTs, & Shark Week on Snapchat

A pair of properties from the soon-to-merge Warner Media and Discovery companies chose different platforms for their augmented reality marketing, with Warner film Space Jam: A New Legacy opting to go with Facebook and Discovery Channel publishing an AR experience through Snapchat.

Other brands, Virgin Galactic and Asics, jumped into the AR content fray this week via mobile apps and NFTs.

In addition, while Google brought its Google Meet video platform to Google Glass, Rokid and DigiLens unveiled new developments in the smartglasses segment.

AT&T Taps Facebook to Promote 'Space Jam: A New Legacy' in AR

The remake of the Warner Bros. classic animation meets live-action movie Space Jam, this time starring LeBron James instead of Michael Jordan, hits theaters today.

And while bringing Bugs Bunny into your real-world surroundings is still Hollywood fantasy, thanks to augmented reality there's now a way to get the same effect as seen in the movie.

Continue reading to see how Facebook is bringing Bugs Bunny and pals out of the movie and into augmented reality...

REALITY BITES: As part of the company's effort to bring games to its streaming video apps, Netflix has hired Mike Verdu, vice president of AR/VR content at Facebook, as its vice president of game development. Verdu has stints at Electronic Arts and Zynga on his resume as well. While reports do not mention AR games, Verdu's background at Facebook speaks favorably to the possibility of Netflix AR games.

Virgin Galactic's Historic Space Flight Comes with an AR Treat

Billionaire Richard Branson did his part to advance space tourism this weekend by beating Elon Musk (SpaceX) and Jeff Bezos (Blue Origin) to become the first among them to travel into space.

And while the pricey trips to copy Branson's space flight via Virgin Galactic won't open to the public until 2022, you can get a taste of the journey now in augmented reality.

Keep reading for a virtual sample of space tourism as viewed through the Virgin Galactic app...

REALITY BITES: While the MLB launched an AR app to enhance the Home Run Derby, its broadcast partner, Fox Sports added some broadcast AR to its coverage of the All-Star Game itself. In replays, Fox overlaid AR graphics to highlight the flight path of home runs and display statistics like exit velocity, height, and distance.

Asics Gets into Virtual Sneakers via NFT Market

Some tried to call it a brief cryptocurrency-fueled fad, but it looks like NFTs are here to stay.

Now, one of the biggest sneaker companies on the planet, Japan's Asics, is getting into the game with its own set of NFTs, and there's a virtual object component included.

Read further to learn more about Asic's virtual sneakers and how they fit into the AR NFT craze...

REALITY BITES: Researchers at the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have developed a tactile sensing carpet that can estimate the pose of persons sitting, standing, or lying on it without the use of cameras. Considering that depth-sensing sensors and smartphone cameras have been necessary for body tracking for AR effects to date, the smart carpet could play an interesting role in future AR experiences and installations.

It's Shark Week on Snapchat, Here Are the Best AR Dives

Shark Week, which debuted in 1988 as a week of programming on the Discovery Channel dedicated to the titular predatory fish, has grown into a cultural beast of its own.

At Next Reality, we can think of no better way to commemorate the week than to try out some shark-themed AR Lenses via Snapchat.

Check out the best shark-infested AR Lenses from Discovery Channel, Snapchat, and the Lens Studio community...

REALITY BITES: Jadu is integrating Meebits, 3D characters created by Larva Labs, as playable characters for its AR app. More than 20,000 characters, registered on the Ethereum blockchain, will be available starting in August 2021.

Google Adds Major AR Component to Meet Platform

Due to the apparent lackluster adoption of its Explorer Edition, it can be easy to forget that Google Glass still exists as an enterprise product.

But Google hasn't forgotten, as it has been working on bringing its Google Meet video conferencing platform to Google Glass Enterprise Edition 2.

Continue reading to find out what Meet for Glass does and how Google Workspace customers can get it on the open beta...

Image via Google

REALITY BITES: Smartglasses maker Vuzix is now listed on the Russell 2K and 3K indexes, which track the performance of the top publicly-held companies that are considered small-cap stocks. Vuzix's presence on the listings could help influence investment managers and institutional investors looking to make investments.

Rokid Launches New Smartglasses via Kickstarter

After receiving $100 million in funding in 2018, smartglasses maker Rokid is going the crowdfunding route to finance its latest product.

On Tuesday, Rokid launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund Rokid Air, AR smartglasses that serve as a virtual display by tethering not only to Android smartphones but also iPhones, iPads, desktop computers, and gaming consoles.

Keep reading for more details on the specs, features, and capabilities of these smartglasses and how and when you can get Rokid Air...

Image by Rokid/Kickstarter

REALITY BITES: AR developers Lucas Rizzotto and Aidan Wolf have proposed establishing a co-living space in Los Angeles to house six AR creators. They intend for the space to serve as the heart of the Los Angeles AR community, with exhibitions and workshops included in their plans. They are seeking $100,000 in seed funding to get the project off the ground.

DigiLens & Mitsubishi Change the Waveguide Game

When it comes to the future of AR smartglasses, DigiLens has one word for you. Just one word. Are you listening? Plastics.

On Thursday, the waveguide maker and its strategic investment and production partners Mitsubishi Chemical Corporation (MCC) will begin producing the first-ever waveguides made of plastic instead of glass for use in AR smartglasses and headsets.

Read further to learn how the latest innovation from DigiLens could spur development of AR smartglasses...

Image via DigiLens

REALITY BITES: According to Counterpoint Research, shipments of AR and VR headsets nearly tripled in the first quarter of 2021, with Facebook's Oculus Quest 2 leading the way with approximately 4.6 million units. However, AR headsets accounted for only 4% of those shipments, driven mostly by sales to enterprises.

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 Virgin Galactic

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