Market Reality: Game of Thrones in AR, Microsoft Preps HoloLens 2 for Devs, & Epic Gives Out Magic Leap Headsets

Game of Thrones in AR, Microsoft Preps HoloLens 2 for Devs, & Epic Gives Out Magic Leap Headsets

Developers in the augmented reality industry got a lot of love this week.

While Microsoft is marketing the HoloLens 2 toward the enterprise segment, the company is still working hard to give the indie developer community a chance to purchase the next-generation AR headset. Meanwhile, developers can earn a free Magic Leap One headset from Epic Games based on the merit of their Unreal Engine projects. Not to be outdone, Facebook introduced several improvements to its Spark AR Studio tool and unveiled plans to expand the platform for Instagram and Portal.

Finally, Magic Leap is striking while the Valaryian steel is hot by releasing its Game of Thrones AR experience to all Magic Leap One owners.

Microsoft Intros HoloLens 2 Development Edition with Unity Software Perks

Much of the excitement around the HoloLens 2 has moved on to many wondering when we'll finally be able to get our hands on what is now the best augmented reality device on the market.

In the meantime, Microsoft has decided to introduce a new package called the HoloLens 2 Development Edition, which comes bundled with a couple of valuable software add-ons from Unity, as well as an opportunity to save some cash on your Azure usage.

Continue reading to learn more about the HoloLens 2 Development Edition and what comes with it...

REALITY BITES: Google I/O takes place next week and, based on the event schedule, it appears we'll get some new features for ARCore, which will be detailed in the session What's New with ARCore. Google has several other interesting AR sessions scheduled, including Designing AR Applications, Increasing AR Realism with Lighting and Depth, Developing the First AR Experience for Google Maps, and Augmented Faces and Images. If that weren't enough, the Google I/O app has AR navigation features this year.

Epic Games Giving 500 Magic Leap Headsets to Deserving Developers

With $100 million in grant funding already available to developers via its MegaGrants program, Epic Games is sweetening the pot with some gear for Magic Leap developers.

At last week's Unreal Engine Build: Detroit '19 event, Epic Games announced that it would supply Magic Leap One headsets, which retail for $2,295, free of charge to a limited number of developers working on spatial computing apps in Unreal Engine.

Read further to learn more about the program, how to apply for a headset, and why giving away the headsets makes sense for Epic...

REALITY BITES: As hyped as augmented reality is, it may not be right for every business. Darrell K. Rigby, Mikey Vu, and Asit Goel of Bain and Company have four questions that decision makers need to answer before adopting AR for their businesses.

Facebook Extends Spark AR Studio to Instagram, Expands Portal Market

Facebook has faced an avalanche of controversy on its approach to user data over the past year, so augmented reality took a back seat to Facebook's new emphasis on privacy this year.

Nonetheless, Facebook did introduce several quality-of-life improvements for Spark AR, chief among them the addition of Windows support for the Spark AR Studio software and opening of Instagram to AR creators.

Read on to learn about the new features in Spark AR, and see a preview of some new tricks coming to the platform soon...

Image via Facebook

REALITY BITES: Seeing an unbuilt environment is one of the advantages that augmented reality brings to the architects and general contractors. ArchDaily has rounded up the nine most useful AR apps for the architecture, engineering, and construction industry, which includes a mix of enterprise-level hardware and software and some consumer-facing mobile apps.

Magic Leap Spreads Game of Thrones AR Experience to the Public

It turns out that the video Magic Leap released earlier this week was indeed a teaser for the public release of the Game of Thrones experience for meant for all Magic Leap One users.

Available now for download in the Magic Leap World section, the app is a free download that allows you to enter the world of Game of Thrones in augmented reality for the first time.

Keep reading to find out more about the Game of Thrones AR experience and how it capitalizes on one of the hottest pop culture topics of the year...

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.

Cover image via HBO

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