Market Reality: Google Updates ARCore & Cuts Glass, Star Wars AR in Japan, & Hands-On Magic Leap for Fashion & Voice

Google Updates ARCore & Cuts Glass, Star Wars AR in Japan, & Hands-On Magic Leap for Fashion & Voice

After facing reports of financial troubles over the past month, Magic Leap came out swinging this week with a big push for the enterprise segment of AR, including a repackaged Magic Leap 1, a suite of enterprise apps, and updates to Lumin OS and its supporting development ecosystem. Oh, and its AR headset managed to win a starring role in the marketing juggernaut for the forthcoming Star Wars movie.

Meanwhile, Google broke new ground with a potentially game-changing Depth API for its ARCore toolkit, while, at the same time, writing the final chapter of its Glass Explorer edition saga.

Finally, startup North finished the story of its first-generation Focals smartglasses before announcing its sequel, the improved Focals 2.0, will arrive in 2020.

Magic Leap Rebrands Magic Leap 1 for Enterprise

As we predicted this time last year, Magic Leap is finally moving from consumer entertainment hype to making a firm commitment to enterprise customers.

On Tuesday, the company announced a new name for its device -- the Magic Leap 1, instead of the Magic Leap One Creator Edition. Also, the company is now offering a new "suite of services" targeting business customers.

Continue reading to find out what enterprise customers get with the Magic Leap 1 and what enterprise apps are on board...

REALITY BITES: Voting for the 2019 Unity Awards is open with some notable AR projects among the nominees. Included in the consumer-facing competitors are Harry Potter Wizards Unite for best mobile game and Childish Gambino's Pharos, Lego's Hidden Side, and Tactic's Jack Daniels campaign, who face off in the media and entertainment category. On the enterprise side, sHop Architects is up for the architecture, engineering, and construction category, with Nissan, Volvo and Varjo, and Taqtile and King County, Washington vying for the automotive prize.

Google's Depth API for ARCore Brings Real-World Occlusion to Android Apps

Apple's ARKit has built a considerable lead in terms of features over Google's ARCore, but Google's latest update to ARCore adds a capability that makes the platform a bit more competitive with ARKit.

On Monday, Google unveiled its new Depth API for ARCore, an algorithm that creates depth maps through a standard mobile camera instead of a dedicated depth sensor.

Read further to find out what the Depth API enables, where customers can find AR experiences running on it first, and how ARCore now compares to ARKit...

Image via Google

REALITY BITES: Roughly a year after acquiring 3D engine Allegorithmic, Adobe has acquired the Oculus Medium team and its 3D authoring technology from Facebook's VR division.

Obsess App Conjures Virtual Fashion Stores via Magic Leap

The newly enhanced focus from Magic Leap on enterprise, announced on Tuesday, also came with a few companies opting to weigh in with their experiences developing for the platform.

One of those companies is Obsess, an app that allows Magic Leap users to create customized immersive showrooms, giving anyone the ability to create a virtual pop-up shop anywhere the Magic Leap 1 can be used.

Keep reading for our impressions of Obsess and how it can benefit fashion retailers...

Image by Adario Strange/Next Reality

REALITY BITES: Speaking of enterprise apps, Scope AR has acquired WakingApp and its AR Studio (for an undisclosed amount) to strengthen its WorkLink platform.

Google Gives One Last Update to Glass Explorer Edition for Consumers

Did Google CEO Sundar Pichai kill Google Glass for non-enterprise users? That's the obvious first question following news that non-enterprise Glass users will no longer have access to Google's core apps after February 2020.

Just days after Larry Page and Sergey Brin announced that they'll be stepping away from leadership duties at Google and Alphabet, leaving Pichai in charge of all matters, we have learned that the party is effectively over for individual users who spent $1,500 on the device back in 2013 to connect to Google services.

Read further to learn more about the Google Glass Explorer Edition software update and what it means for those holding on to the long-running experiment...

REALITY BITES: For some insight into why Samsung is keen to invest in Niantic, Alex Rodriguez, head of Samsung US mobile marketing partnerships, penned a guest post on Niantic's blog about a recent Pokémon GO event hosted at the Samsung's 837 facility in New York.

Our Test of Magic Leap's Voice Control via Lumin OS Update

This week's Magic Leap Lumin OS update contained a number of goodies, including iris authentication, and a way to stream to Twitch from the device.

But one new feature really stood out to us, and that's voice control of the system's interface.

Read on for our experience using voice control on Magic Leap One, then read further for more details on the Lumin SDK and Lumin OS updates...

REALITY BITES: As a side note to Magic Leap's Lumin SDK update, development tool maker Glitch has created a pair of sample apps to guide developers in creating web-based AR content for the headset.

North to Ship Focals 2.0 in 2020, Closes Door on Focals 1.0

While Apple, Facebook, and Snapchat are still working on their first-generation AR wearables, startup North is already preparing to bring its second-generation smartglasses to the world in 2020.

On Tuesday, North announced that Focals 2.0, which will feature a lighter, slimmer design and a ten-fold improvement in retinal design, will begin shipping in 2020.

Read further for more details on Focals 2.0, what becomes of the company's first-generation smartglasses, and how North may finally open up its wearable to the developer community...

REALITY BITES: According to International Data Corporation, spending on AR and VR is expected to hit $18.8 billion in 2020, an increase 78.5% compared to 2019. The leading sectors in spending are predicted to be retail at $1.5 billion and "discrete" manufacturing at $1.4 billion.

Magic Leap Used to Bring AR to H&M & Star Wars Fashion Collaboration

There may be questions from some about the future of Magic Leap, but in Japan, The Force is with the augmented reality startup.

Japan's arm of fashion retailer H&M and Disney are using the device to promote a special promotion of customized Star Wars apparel.

Read more to learn more about the Star Wars AR experience and who put it together...

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 Magic Leap/YouTube

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