Market Reality: Facebook Debuts Shared AR for Video Chat, Magic Leap Teams with AMD, & Lego Takes AR to the Theme Park

Facebook Debuts Shared AR for Video Chat, Magic Leap Teams with AMD, & Lego Takes AR to the Theme Park

It's (virtual) developer conference season, and this week was Facebook's turn with F8 Refresh. Like Google and Snap, Facebook had some new AR capabilities to show off.

And while Google and Snap made big AR hardware reveals, Facebook did not. However, CEO Mark Zuckerberg did reveal insights into the company's AR device roadmap after the virtual conference.

In the AR headset segment, Magic Leap set the stage for its future devices by selecting AMD to design a semi-custom processor.

Facebook Introduces Support for Shared Video AR Experiences for Spark AR

After introducing a pair of new Spark AR capabilities last week, Facebook had one more trick up its sleeve to unveil at its virtual F8 Refresh developer conference.

On Wednesday, Facebook gave its audience a sneak peek at its new Multipeer API, which will enable Spark AR creators to build AR camera effects that sync multiple video callers on Messenger and Instagram as well as its Portal smart camera lineup.

Continue reading to see what Multipeer API can do and learn how Facebook's approach to multiplayer AR differs from its competition...

Image via Facebook

REALITY BITES: Facebook is bringing some gamification to its Spark AR platform. With Spark AR Awards, creators can earn badges for reaching milestones, such as number of years on the platform, quantity of effects published, total impressions, and becoming a Spark AR Partner Network member.

Zuckerberg Gives Us a Peek at Facebook's Future in AR

The last few weeks were fairly busy in the realm of augmented reality and remote meetings developments. Most of that activity was generated by some mammoth announcements from Snap and its Spectacles AR smartglasses, and Google, with its Project Starline experimental holographic video conferencing system.

Now, right on cue, Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg has emerged to give some (veiled) responses to some of what we've seen from the competition in the last few weeks.

Read further to find out what Zuck had to say about Facebook's AR hardware plans...

Image by Andrew Bosworth/Instagram

REALITY BITES: Walmart Global Tech has developed an augmented reality system that enables its inventory teams to find boxes using their smartphone cameras to scan QR code labels. The system is live in approximately 3,500 stores and will expand to remaining stores this summer.

Magic Leap Strikes Partnership with AMD

After tapping Nvidia for its first AR headset, Magic Leap is calling in reinforcement for its future enterprise-focused efforts.

On Wednesday, Magic Leap disclosed a partnership with chipmaker AMD to produce a "semi-custom" system on a chip (SOC) that will handle computing, graphics, and machine learning, particularly computer vision and spatial computing, for its AR headsets.

Keep reading for more details on Magic Leap's relationship with AMD and how it impacts the chipset market for AR wearables...

REALITY BITES: As part of its sunsetting of 3D content platform Poly, Google is shutting down Poly Tour Creator on June 30. In addition, the Expeditions app for AR/VR education content will also meet its end on that date. However, Google will transition much of this content to Google Arts & Culture, which has become the company's favored venue for similar AR experiences.

Lego Expands AR Experiences from Toys to Theme Parks

Few brands have been more enthusiastic about augmented reality than Lego, which has now expanded its AR experiences from toys to theme parks.

The brand recently opened a new attraction, dubbed Mythica: World of Mythical Creature, at Legoland Windsor in the UK.

Continue reading to learn more about the mobile app that brings AR into the theme park (as well as your home) and how it fits into Lego's AR approach...

Image by Lego/YouTube

REALITY BITES: Perfect Corp., the makers of YouCam virtual markup try-on apps and tech, is integrating its AR tech into Google Search. Consumers searching for lipstick from brands such as Estée Lauder, MAC Cosmetics, Charlotte Tilbury, and Black Opal via their mobile devices will find a virtual try-on button to preview the look via their front-facing cameras.

Snapchat's Lens Studio Supplies Virtual Celebrations for Pride Month

June is Pride Month, an annual celebration of LGBTQ+ communities in commemoration of the Stonewall uprising of 1969.

With Lens Studio, developers and creators have the capacity to create augmented reality experiences that celebrate a wide variety of interests, including LGBTQ+ rights.

Read on to discover some Snapchat Lenses to help celebrate your identity or your support of the LGBTQ+ community...

Images via Snap, Tommy Palladino/Next Reality

REALITY BITES: Snap is losing its head of original content, as Sean Mills will leave his post after six years. Vanessa Guthrie, director of content, will fill the position and report to Ben Schwerin, senior VP of content and partnerships.

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 Facebook

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