Market Reality: Hello Kitty Comes to AR, Epic Games Negotiates with Nreal, & Magic Leap Weathers Exec Turnover

Hello Kitty Comes to AR, Epic Games Negotiates with Nreal, & Magic Leap Weathers Exec Turnover

They say it is always darkest before the dawn. If that's the case, then perhaps there's a light ahead for Magic Leap after more unfavorable news in the form of executive departures.

One of Magic Leap's legal foes, Nreal, is already seeing brighter days, with Epic Games working with the startup to negotiate the trademark tussle, the Nreal Light Developer Kit heading for a wider launch, and another wireless carrier partnership expanding the company's reach.

Elsewhere, Bublar Group has its eyes on riches in the realm of location-based AR gaming, and it has the ever-popular Hello Kitty as its avatar.

Magic Leap Loses CFO & VP of Creative Strategy

This week's news that Magic Leap's patents had entered collateral limbo, now in the hands of JPMorgan Chase, threw a dark cloud over the company.

Well, that cloud got a bit darker last Friday with the news that two of the company's top executives are exiting the startup. The Matrix special effects veteran John Gaeta, Magic Leap's senior vice president of creative strategy, is leaving the company. Along with Gaeta, Scott Henry, the company's chief financial officer, is also heading for the exit.

Read further for more details on their departure and what this means for Magic Leap's path forward...

REALITY BITES: Verizon is hitching its 5G star to Snapchat's AR wagon, with the carrier selecting Snap to develop 5G-fueled AR features and experiences at Verizon's 5G Labs. Meanwhile, at its recent Lens Fest, Snap committed $750,000 in funding to its top creators in 2020. Finally, Stephen Anderson, Snap's senior creative strategist for Asia-Pacific countries, penned a guest column for AdNews to address three myths about AR advertising that are clearly bugging him.

Epic Games Opts to Settle Trademark Suit with Nreal

At least one hurdle to China-based augmented reality startup Nreal going mainstream in the United States may be about to be knocked down, thanks to behind the scenes legal movements Next Reality has uncovered.

Back in January, Epic Games filed a legal action to stop Nreal from using the "Nreal" name, primarily in a bid to protect its brand, Unreal Engine, from being confused with the Chinese startup in any way. Well, that situation has taken a new turn.

Continue reading for the latest developments in Nreal's legal saga...

REALITY BITES: Startup LIV has secured $2.6 million in funding from Hiro Capital to build out its augmented reality game streaming platform. The funding will be used to accelerate the platform's development as well as facilitate integrating more third party studios into the platform.

Bublar Group Brings Hello Kitty into the World of AR Gaming via Google Maps

After three years and change, no one seems to be able to knock Pokémon GO off its augmented reality throne. Zombies, dinosaurs, and ghosts have all met defeat at the hands of the pocket monsters. Heck, not even the world's most popular wizard and Pokémon GO's developer can replicate the original's success.

Maybe this is a job for Hello Kitty. That's right, the patron saint of tweens around the world is taking its shot at Pokémon GO. On Thursday, developer Bublar Group announced that Hello Kitty AR: Kawaii World, a location-based game created in partnership with the character's founder, Japan's Sanrio, and built on Amazon Game Tech's platform.

Keep reading for more details about the Hello Kitty AR: Kawaii World and its odds of competing with the king...

REALITY BITES: It appears that Niantic's next game will be Catan World Explorers. The proof comes via the game's website, where the Terms of Service link at bottom of the home page leads to Niantic's Terms of Service for apps on its "real-world augmented reality platform."

Nreal Strikes 5G Partnership with LG Uplus in South Korea

On Thursday, the AR smartglasses maker began taking pre-orders for the Nreal Light Developer Kit, which has previously been available only to select Nreal Developer Program participants by invitation only.

In addition to the pre-order milestone, Nreal has also secured a partnership with South Korean wireless carrier LG Uplus.

Read on to learn more about the Nreal Light and Nreal's latest 5G partnership...

REALITY BITES: Whenever Apple begins manufacturing its AR headset, will it be assembled in Texas? On Wednesday, the company broke ground on its new campus in Austin, Texas, where contract manufacturer Flex is putting together the new Mac Pro.

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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