As much funding as Magic Leap has secured, another round of funding will still catch headlines. However, the latest funding solidifies the company's strategy for succeeding in the consumer segment of AR.
Meanwhile, it looks like Facebook is ramping up its efforts to get its own AR wearable into the marketplace, as the company's Oculus subsidiary has several AR-centric openings at the moment.
Finally, Snapchat and Google demonstrated their wide range of AR capabilities, with the former showing off a new side with regard to content and the latter flexing its AR toolkit and its multiplayer features.
Magic Leap Snags $280 Million in Funding from Japan's NTT DoCoMO
Magic Leap's business strategy for bringing augmented reality to the mainstream has become even clearer via its latest funding round.
On Friday, the company announced that it has secured $280 million in funding from NTT Docomo, the largest wireless provider in Japan.
Read more about the investment and how Magic Leap's telecom partnerships sets it up to for consumer success in the future...
REALITY BITES: Speaking of telecom, smartglasses maker ThirdEye Gen has the distinction of being the first official 5G smartglasses partner for Verizon. In addition, the company has secured a patent for OLED drivers for AR headsets.
Facebook Is Beefing Up Its AR Product Team
At its F8 developer's conference in 2016, Facebook went on record with a roadmap that called for augmented reality integration into Oculus within 10 years. Now, it appears as though Facebook is accelerating those plans.
Based on recent job postings, Facebook's Oculus subsidiary is looking for a product design prototyper for AR experiences and a product designer for AR platform. Both postings begin with the same boilerplate to persuade candidates to join the team that will "define wearable AR experiences for Facebook."
Continue reading to find out what its hiring patterns mean for Facebook's AR plans and why the company's trajectory mirrors (and contrasts) Apple's own roadmap...
REALITY BITES: Augmented reality offers the opportunity to completely reinvent user interfaces, but many current experiences simply adapt current mobile interfaces. As it turns out, consumers are actually craving a reinvention of the status quo, and Rori DuBoff, managing director and head of content innovation and XR strategy at Accenture Interactive, has the data to prove it.
Snapchat Gets Serious for Earth Day
In an effort to raise awareness regarding the impact of emissions on the environment, Snap has partnered with the United Nations Environment Programme to use augmented reality to show how much ocean levels will rise over the next 80 years.
For the entirety of Earth Day, Snapchat is hosting an interactive Lens (built via Lens Studio) that fills the camera view with animated water. A slider on the left side of the screen lets users adjust the year from 2019 up to 2100, with the global sea level rising in conjunction.
Keep reading to find out more about the experience and how it shows off a different kind of AR content than we are used to seeing in Snapchat...
REALITY BITES: In its first quarter 2019 financial results, Snap reported improvements in revenue growth and daily active users (DAUs), though the company is still operating at loss overall. The company also noted that users are now spending an average of 250 million minutes per day playing with AR experiences, a 10% increase per DAU versus last year. In addition, this week Snap hired former McDonald's executive Kenny Mitchell to serve as its chief marketing officer.
Google Calls on Childish Gambino to Showcase ARCore & Cloud Anchors
Google is going all in with Childish Gambino as its musical champion for augmented reality, as the duo has now dropped its second AR collaboration of the year.
After Google launched his Playmoji for Pixel's Playground app earlier this year, Gambino, the musical alter ego of entertainment multi-threat Donald Glover, has now released a multiplayer augmented reality app called Pharos AR for Android and iOS.
Read on for more details on the AR experience and how the artist is serving the role of augmented reality influencer on Google's behalf...
REALITY BITES: Over the past two years, the tech industry has formed a series of symbiotic relationships that are now converging in the augmented reality space. In our Future of AR series, we've taken a step back to take a look at these interrelated technologies and how they are shaping the path forward for augmented reality.
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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