Market Reality: Facebook & Harry Potter AR, MLB AR App, Doritos AR Ads, NFT Holographic Future, & Google Meet AR Filters

Facebook & Harry Potter AR, MLB AR App, Doritos AR Ads, NFT Holographic Future, & Google Meet AR Filters

Brands are increasingly adopting augmented reality to promote their products and services, and they have multiple paths for bringing AR experience to their audiences.

To promote its stage production, the Harry Potter franchise turned to Facebook to pull together an AR experience for its Portal devices and Facebook and Instagram apps. Doritos opted to go the web-based AR route with 8th Wall's platform. Meanwhile, Major League Baseball decided to build its own app, with promotional consideration from T-Mobile, to increase engagement around the upcoming All-Star Game. And we take a dive into how 3D dynamics are invading outdoor advertising, with the latest example being Tokyo's viral billboard cat.

In other AR news, Google added some augmented reality treats to its Google Meet app to better compete in the crowded video calling landscape, while one of the NFT game's first success stories has launched a startup that may influence how consumers view their exclusive digital content.

Facebook Conjures Harry Potter AR Experience for Portal Devices, Mobile Apps

Augmented reality technology is often likened to magic powers, so it is fitting that a new AR experience featuring the Harry Potter franchise uses the newest AR tricks from Facebook and its Spark AR platform.

With Harry Potter and the Cursed Child returning to Broadway this fall, Facebook is bringing some magic from the wizarding world to its Portal devices via a new augmented reality experience called Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Curtain Call.

Continue reading for more details on the AR experience, and a retrospective on Harry Potter AR experiences...

Image by Harry Potter on Stage US/Instagram

REALITY BITES: Get ready, Witcher fans. The Witcher: Monster Slayer drops worldwide for iOS and Android on July 21, the franchise confirmed via a tweet. The game will follow the location-based AR gameplay pioneered by Niantic via Ingress and Pokémon GO. Speaking of Pokémon GO, the game is celebrating its fifth birthday. According to Niantic, players have walked nearly 50 billion kilometers playing the game over that span.

MLB Partners with T-Mobile to Launch AR App for All-Star Game

The official MLB AR app was released this week for both Apple iOS iPhones and iPads as well as Android devices.

MLB, along with its partner T-Mobile, timed the launch to come just days before the start of the T-Mobile Home Run Derby, which is scheduled to take place on Monday, July 12 at Coors Field in Denver, Colorado.

Keep reading to learn how to view the upcoming Home Run Derby as well as past editions of the competition in augmented reality with the MLB AR app...

Image by Tommy Palladino/Next Reality

REALITY BITES: Samsung India is using augmented reality to help consumers in India (a country in the midst of a second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic) visualize TVs and refrigerators in their homes. The web-based AR experiences feature The Serif TV and SpaceMax Family Hub refrigerator and enable customers to purchase the appliances or schedule appointments to view them in-person.

8th Wall Fuels Doritos AR Campaign

With fears over the COVID-19 pandemic subsiding, live concerts are returning. And Doritos wants to send UK music fans to a few of them via an augmented reality promotion.

Dubbed "Mark Your Play," the campaign is centered on scannable posters, denoted by a Doritos chip oriented in the appearance of a play button, found in London, Manchester, Birmingham, Leeds, Glasgow, Liverpool, Bristol, Brighton, Cardiff, and Southampton.

Keep reading to see the AR campaign in action and learn how 8th Wall has become a major player in AR advertising...

Images by Tommy Palladino/Next Reality

REALITY BITES: Taking a cue from Snapchat, 8th Wall has launched its own Partner Program as a means to connect creators with brands seeking to deploy AR advertising campaigns. As part of the program, partners also get public profiles to showcase their AR work.

Google Ports AR Filters from Duo to Meet

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, Google has packed new functionality into Google Meet to compete with Zoom, Microsoft Teams, and other video conferencing platforms.

After adding background blurring and virtual backgrounds to match Zoom's capabilities, Google Meet now has a unique differentiator in the form of augmented reality effects.

Continue reading to see the AR filters available via Google Meet, how to access them, and why this might mean the end of Google Duo, then read further to learn how to do view art from your Chromecast in AR via the Google Arts & Culture app...

Images by Tommy Palladino/Next Reality

REALITY BITES: Vuzix and Teamviewer recently joined forces to hold a pair of webinars for enterprise businesses looking to get started with AR and smartglasses in their operations. The sessions are available on-demand for those who agree to register.

Beeple's NFT Startup Wenew Offers Holographic Displays with Auctions

Digital artist Beeple's $69 million NFT art auction at Christie's has a second act called Wenew, and includes attempting to open the digital art floodgates to mainstream collectors and artists alike by using physical goods.

Wenew is unique in that it is the first NFT platform to offer a physical artifact with every auction in the form of a museum-quality display containing either an image or looping video of the NFT. But beyond the blockchain technology story, this could also serve as the perfect platform to mainstream the new technology of holographic displays.

Continue reading to learn more about Wenew and how NFTs have given holographic displays a potentially dependable revenue stream...

REALITY BITES: LightGuide, Inc., a Michigan-based AR software company focused on training solutions for the manufacturing industry, has raised a $15 million Series B funding round led by G2 Venture Partners with participation from Capital Midwest Fund and Michigan Capital Advisors. The funding will enable the company to expand its global sales and support functions and invest in the research and development of cloud infrastructure and its core software offerings.

Behind the Internet's Viral 3D Cat & Asia's Marketing Innovation

The most viral internet cat of the moment is a virtual kitty trapped in a billboard in the Shinjuku district of Tokyo, Japan.

But if you've been paying attention, you know that this is just the latest in a trend toward digital billboards that mimic a 3D effect to give passersby a sense that the experience is pushing itself in your reality.

Keep reading to find out the full story of where the 3D digital display trend started...

REALITY BITES: The fight for executive talent in the augmented reality space is heating up so much that the major players are stealing top-level players from each other. The latest shift, according to a report from Input, involves Joshua To, the director of Google's AR/VR team, moving to Facebook Reality Labs to work on AR.

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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