Market Reality: Google Adds AR to Search, AWE Turns 10, & Nike Makes AR Part of Its Sales Strategy

Google Adds AR to Search, AWE Turns 10, & Nike Makes AR Part of Its Sales Strategy

As the Augmented World Expo (AWE) prepares to open its doors to AR developers and enthusiasts, we sat down with founder Ori Inbar to talk about AR's growth over the past decade, and what the future may hold.

In its eleventh year of summoning developers to its own conference, Google expanded its AR portfolio by adding 3D content to search.

Meanwhile, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg faced criticism for his business practices from one of his company's co-founders, but it's Zuckerberg's AR ambitions that are flying under the radar.

Elsewhere, Nike previewed its next AR innovation, while Microsoft showed off how Spatial's AR technology is ready to revolutionize workplace communication now.

AWE Founder Ori Inbar Reflects on the Past Decade of AR & Its Future

In just a few weeks, on May 29, the annual AWE (Augmented World Expo) conference will take place once again in Silicon Valley (Santa Clara, California, to be exact).

And while everyone will be on the lookout for the next big thing in augmented reality coming from major players and small startups alike, now, on the possible eve the dawn of Apple's AR wearables, is the perfect time to take a reflective look the best known AR gathering in the industry.

To that end, we managed to get AWE founder Ori Inbar (also the founder and managing partner at investment firm Super Ventures) to talk to us about keeping the AR flame alive for him and the event for nearly a decade...

REALITY BITES: Ed Morris, co-founder of AR/VR production studio Gate Reality, recently explained how the growth of digital advertising and augmented reality mean good things for traditional billboard advertising.

Google Expands Its AR Efforts by Adding 3D Content to Search

If Google hasn't already demonstrated that it is serious about augmented reality, then it made it abundantly clear at the Google I/O keynote on Tuesday.

Aparna Chennapragada, vice president and head of product for augmented reality, virtual reality, and Lens, took the stage for updates on augmented reality. And the first update was a big one: Google is adding augmented reality to Google Search, the cornerstone of its entire business, later this month.

Read further for more details about the addition of AR to Search and why it might be Google's biggest contribution to the mainstreaming of AR. Continue reading to learn about the ARCore features that make it possible, as well as the expansion of AR navigation in Google Maps to Pixel devices...

REALITY BITES: The future of AR and 5G are already joined at the hip, so why not use the former to promote the later (with a twist of the biggest box office blockbuster ever). South Korea's KT Corp recently signed up 100,000 new 5G subscribers through an AR scavenger hunt game based on Avengers: Endgame.

Nike Steps Up AR Efforts with Nike Fit Sizing Tool

After applying augmented reality as a solution for the sale and marketing of sneakers, Nike is taking the next step in its adoption of AR to improve the customer experience.

On Thursday, Nike unveiled its new Nike Fit tool, which the company is preparing to add to its existing mobile apps for iOS and Android, as well as its retail stores.

Keeping reading to find out more about the AR tool and how it frames the future of the technology as a problem solving tool...

Image via Nike

REALITY BITES: Facebook is shuffling its leadership as it continues to grow its AR platform. Hugo Barra will now oversee developer relations, while Jason Rubin transitions to VP of special gaming initiatives, and Michael Verdu is stepping up as director of content for Oculus.

Facebook Co-Founder Takes Aim at Mark Zuckerberg, but Misses the AR Target

Next to Apple, Snap is currently one of the most important companies on the planet in terms of delivering products that are moving augmented reality into the mainstream. That's why it's no surprise that Facebook, which is also focused on AR and tried to acquire the company for $3 billion several years ago, duplicates many of the smaller company's features.

But while many in Silicon Valley have whispered loudly about Facebook's Snapchat-copying moves, what does come as a surprise is that Facebook's co-founder, Chris Hughes, is now leveling the same charge at the company, in a very public fashion.

Continue reading for the juicy details and why Hughes should be more concerned about CEO Mark Zuckerberg's AR ambitions...

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.

Microsoft Adds Spatial App Functionality to Office 365's Teams App

Months ago, we showed you some of the powers of Spatial, the HoloLens app that allows groups of workers to collaborate in augmented reality using 3D avatars.

On Monday, the company boosted its profile by taking the stage at Microsoft Build to show off its new integration into Microsoft Teams, a workplace chat application that some might compare to Slack.

Read on to learn more about Spatial's new capabilities, and check out previews of how it will work with Android and on the web...

Image via Spatial

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 Google

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