Market Reality: HoloLens 2 Arrives, Valve Reportedly Assists Apple with AR Device, & Niantic Prepares AR Cloud Launch

HoloLens 2 Arrives, Valve Reportedly Assists Apple with AR Device, & Niantic Prepares AR Cloud Launch

While the long-awaited HoloLens 2 officially arrived this week, details leaked about another, arguably longer-awaited AR headset, the fabled wearable from Apple, and a previously undisclosed partner assisting the Cupertino-based company with the hardware.

On the development front, Niantic put a timeline on the launch of its AR cloud platform for game developers, the Niantic Real World Platform, and Adobe launched its Aero authoring tools as an iOS app.

Meanwhile, just as Facebook installs a ban on plastic surgery AR camera effects built via Spark AR, NR30 alumnus Tom Emrich explores how AR filters are bringing AR into the mainstream today.

Microsoft Begins Shipping HoloLens 2 to Enterprise Customers

The long wait is over — the best augmented reality device on the planet is finally (technically) available.

On Thursday, Microsoft began the next phase of its immersive computing journey by officially opening sales to the general public for the HoloLens 2.

But there are some caveats. Continue reading for the low-down on how to get your hands on a HoloLens 2...

REALITY BITES: With HoloLens 2 officially out in the real world, Scope AR has extended support of its enterprise AR software to the new headset. Expect more such announcements in the coming weeks.

Apple Reportedly Partnering with Valve to Develop AR Wearables

Rumors are what Apple dreams are made, so most of the time it's best to ignore the juicy ones -- but some Apple rumors demand a least a little attention.

Such is the case with the latest tantalizing breadcrumb that claims that the Cupertino, California-based company is working one of the biggest VR gaming specialists on the planet to help it bring its augmented reality device to market.

Read further to find out the latest surrounding Apple with its debut AR wearable...

Image by Taeyeon Kim/Behance

REALITY BITES: Sight and sound are instrumental in making augmented reality experiences more realistic, but what about touch? Apple may have a solution, as a new patent patent application from the company describes a method for using actuators and temperature control sensors to mimic the feel of virtual objects.

Niantic Eyes 2020 Launch for Real World Platform

Augmented reality gaming pioneer and Pokémon GO mastermind Niantic is putting the pieces on the gameboard to prepare developers and gamers for the launch of its AR cloud platform, the Niantic Real World Platform.

On Wednesday, the company announced that it is accepting applications to its Creator Program, which will give first access to the Niantic Real World Platform to participating developers in 2020. The Creator Program also offers participants learning opportunities for developing and publishing their apps.

Continue reading to learn more about the Creator Program and how it benefits participants, and how Pokémon GO will serve as the first app to take advantage of the platform's next-level AR capabilities...

REALITY BITES: Another potential competitor in the AR cloud race emerged this week in Sturfee. The company's City AR platform uses satellite imagery to supply AR experiences like navigation, tourism guides, and virtual outdoor advertising.

Adobe's Project Aero Graduates from Private Beta to Apple App Store

As one of the household brands in creative software, Adobe is now ready to lay its claim to the artistic side of augmented reality.

On Monday, concurrent with the kickoff its annual Adobe Max conference, Adobe's Project Aero officially graduated to public release, but Adobe actually published Aero app for iOS quietly on Friday.

Read further to find out what users can do with Aero and how it competes head-to-head with Apple's Reality Composer...

REALITY BITES: Vuzix has secured what it claims to be the largest order for AR smartglasses ever. Reseller Sword has signed off on a $7.1 million purchase order for 10,000 units of Vuzix Blade smartglasses.

Facebook Bans Plastic Surgery AR Effects from Spark AR

Facebook recently hit a snag in its quest to take augmented reality face effects to its millions of users.

After a media firestorm over a new plastic surgery filter called "FixMe," provoked by concerns from mental health charities, Facebook has decided to ban plastic surgery filters across its Spark AR platform.

Continue reading for more details on the developments that led to this moment and reasons behind Facebook's monumental decision...

REALITY BITES: Lidiya Bogdanovich, director of lens design at Snap, Tony Parisi, head of AR/VR Ad innovation at Unity Technologies, and Ray Soto, director of emerging tech at USA Today Network, are among the speakers at the upcoming VRX Conference & Expo. The event takes place Dec. 12-13, 2019 in San Francisco.

NR30 Alum Tom Emrich Examines the Future of AR Through Mobile Filters

Despite the fact that over 600,000 Snap Lens filters have been created since Lens Studio debuted in 2017, and Facebook is reporting that more than a billion users have interacted with its Spark AR filters across Facebook properties, social augmented reality filters get a bad rap in the AR industry.

However, filters are creating new user behaviors, educating the masses on the use of computer vision and 3D, and equipping brands savvy enough to utilize them with new tools to engage their target audience.

Here are 10 surprising things you probably didn't know social AR filters are doing today...

REALITY BITES: The lifecycle of Google Cardboard serves as a cautionary tale for hardware makers looking to take shortcuts in getting augmented reality headsets into the consumer market quickly. After unceremoniously discontinuing its Daydream View headset, Google has now washed its hands of its predecessor platform, Google Cardboard, by pushing it out to pasture via open source. Google Cardboard's watered-down VR experience served a role in entry-level VR, but it's become less viable as more robust options have become available.

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 asadjmalik/Instagram

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