Market Reality: Facebook Cancels F8, Magic Leap Invites Developers to Headquarters, & Snapchat Promotes New UK Currency

Facebook Cancels F8, Magic Leap Invites Developers to Headquarters, & Snapchat Promotes New UK Currency

Amid the coronavirus chaos, two companies at the forefront of augmented reality technology took starkly different approaches to their upcoming developers conferences, as Facebook has canceled its annual F8 conference and Magic Leap plans to invite a limited number of attendees to its Florida headquarters for LEAP Developer Days.

Elsewhere, Snapchat lent an AR hand to the Bank of England as part of the rollout of its new 20-pound note, while Google assisted Burberry in showing off its latest fashions in AR via Google Search.

Finally, as companies start to restrict travel, virtual meetings stand in as a substitute for business trips. A new app for Magic Leap 1 enters as a thrifty solution for remote AR collaboration.

Facebook Cancels F8 Developer Conference

Facebook has announced the cancelation of its annual F8 developer conference, citing concerns around the developing coronavirus health crisis.

Next to Facebook's annual Oculus Connect event, the F8 developer conference is the biggest and best event to find out about augmented reality and VR developments from the software and social media giant, which makes its cancelation particularity significant for the immersive computing space.

Continue reading for more details on Facebook's decision as well as the cascade of tech companies pulling out of the Game Developers Conference and the implications for other tech events coming further down the line...

REALITY BITES: Facebook continues to buy its way into the AR/VR market by acquiring game studio Sanzaru Games. The studio, which will join Facebook's Oculus subsidiary, works purely on VR games at present, but, considering that Oculus spearheads Facebook's AR products and research as well, the acquisition gives Facebook a deeper bench for AR content development.

Magic Leap Invites Developers to Florida for LEAP Developer Days

Despite the cancellation of Mobile World Congress and F8, and several high-profile companies pulling out of the upcoming Game Developers Conference, Magic Leap is pushing forward with hosting its own developer conference.

Instead of organizing a major public conference as it did with the LEAP Conference in 2018, Magic Leap will instead host developer attendees at its headquarters in Plantation, Florida for a pair of events scheduled for May 19-20 and May 21-22.

Read further to learn more about Magic Leap's plans, how LEAP Developer Days differs from its LEAP Conference, and how the coronavirus outbreak may impact those plans...

REALITY BITES: The coronavirus outbreak has now impacted production of the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip, a device almost assured to support ARCore. Meanwhile, Google and Amazon have asked employees to restrict travel.

Snapchat's AR Platform Helps Bank of England Show Off New Currency

The UK is kicking off 2020 with its typical innovative design-meets-technology flair via a tie-up with Snapchat involving one of its most prominent assets: money.

Touting the new note as the "most secure Bank of England banknote yet," the government decided to promote the new banknote using augmented reality through the lens of Snapchat.

Keep reading to find out more about the AR experience and how it solves a problem of generating awareness for the currency change...

Image by Adario Strange/Next Reality

REALITY BITES: At the risk of beating a dead horse, a report on the demise of Daqri actually reveals some interesting new information. Snapchat parent Snap Inc. confirms that it has acquired select assets of Daqri and now has about two dozen employees working under former Daqri CTO Daniel Wagner in the newly-minted Vienna office.

Burberry Begins Showing Products in AR Through Google Search

Just days ago, Georgio Armani canceled his live show in Milan and opted to stream it instead due to coronavirus concerns. Now, at the start of Paris Fashion Week — shadowed by similar worries — Burberry has launched an augmented reality tool that lets you view the latest high fashion from the comfort of your home.

The international brand has harnessed the powers of Google Search to allow tech-centric fashionistas to experience its latest creations in immersive AR.

Read further to learn more about the AR experience from Burberry...

REALITY BITES: Amanda Cosco, a journalist covering fashion and technology, has accepted the role of director of marketing at ModiFace, L'Oreal's AR subsidiary.

Magic Leap Gives Businesses AR Whiteboard for Virtual Collaboration

The business world is currently figuring out how to deal with the coronavirus crisis, with many offices opting to work remotely for at least the next few weeks as a safety precaution. Predictably, this has thrown remote meeting software back into the spotlight, especially augmented reality solutions.

And while we've covered many of the top tier AR solutions for remote meetings, a space that is continually evolving and presenting new options, the latest being Whiteboard for the Magic Leap 1.

Read on for our impressions after using app and how it may fit into the growing remote AR collaboration market...

Image by Adario Strange/Next Reality

REALITY BITES: This week, Disney CEO Robert Iger, a big proponent of augmented reality and an NR30 alumnus, sent shockwaves through the entertainment industry deciding to step down and hand over the reins of the empire to Bob Chapek, who previously led Disney Parks and launched Star Wars: Galaxy's End. Iger will continue as chairman through the end of 2021 and will focus the remainder of his tenure on the creative end of the business, so perhaps he has some AR treats to bestow upon Disney fans before he hits the ol' dusty trail.

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 Magic Leap

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