Market Reality: HoloLens 2 Goes to Battle, Talespin Gets Funding for AR Training, & Nreal Light Adds Gesture Interface

HoloLens 2 Goes to Battle, Talespin Gets Funding for AR Training, & Nreal Light Adds Gesture Interface

The results of Microsoft's $480 million contract with the US Army are on display and users continue to test the suped-up version of the HoloLens 2.

Also, the enterprise segment of the AR industry continues to look attractive to investors, as startup Talespin has raised a new round of funding for its AR/VR training platform.

Next, Augmented reality has become the poster child for the wireless industry's 5G push, and UK carrier Three has generated a TV ad that doubles as a wishlist for future AR experiences.

Finally, smartglasses maker Nreal has added a new superpower to its Nreal Light smartglasses.

US Army Tests AR Training via HoloLens 2 with Military Mod

Though Microsoft has had trouble keeping up with the demand for HoloLens 2, the company has been able to supply modified headsets to the US Army.

Now, newly revealed images from the US Army show exactly how the HoloLens 2 is being used during training exercises as the military puts the headset through its paces.

Read further for more details on the project and how it will eventually influence future versions of HoloLens...

Image by Courtney Bacon/US Army

REALITY BITES: Google giveth: Among the new treats arriving with the latest Pixel feature drop, which is rolling out to devices this week, are a set of augmented reality filters for live video calls on Duo that resemble the Animoji effects on iPhone X. Google taketh away: The company also canceled the physical portion of Google I/O in response to the coronavirus outbreak, but it is exploring other ways to "evolve Google I/O to best connect with our developer community."

Startup Talespin Closes $15 Million Funding Round for AR/VR Training Tech

While the rest of the world is scrambling to figure out how to adopt augmented reality and VR tools for remote meetings, one company is building its war chest to serve the growing space of corporate clients who need this kind of immersive computing training.

Los Angeles-based startup Talespin just raised $15 million in a Series B round in its effort to train the business world to use AR and VR. The round was led by Cornerstone OnDemand, a company that specializes in cloud-based learning solutions.

Continue reading to learn more about Talespin and its relationship to one of the leading augmented reality companies...

Image via Talespin

REALITY BITES: In other deal news, AR startup XYZ Reality has closed a $6.5 million Series A funding round to grow its construction-focused product suite. Amadeus Capital Partners and Hoxton Ventures led the round, with Adara Ventures and J Coffey Construction participating.

Three UK's New TV Ad Ties 5G to Future AR Abilities

The entire wireless industry is working overtime to convince the world that 5G, and the higher prices associated with the faster speeds it affords, will not only be worth it but will deliver never-before-seen wonders. But few companies have produced such a stunningly well-done sales job as Three, one of the leading wireless giants in the UK.

To make its 5G case the company put together what can only be described as a short science fiction film to show consumers at least some of what's on the way, and augmented reality plays a starring role.

Keep reading to see what Three imagines for the future of AR and what it tells consumers about 5G and immersive computing...

Image via Three

REALITY BITES: Facial recognition may very well have a place in future smartglasses, but current purveyors of the technology are poisoning the well. One of those companies is Clearview AI, which has faced a backlash from tech giants and government bodies alike. A New York Times report reveals Clearview's troubles, with investors reportedly using the app in highly creepy ways. For example, grocery store chain owner John Catsimatidis used the app to conduct an unsolicited background investigation of his daughter's date.

Nreal Levels Up with Hand Tracking

The powers of the Nreal Light continue to increase incrementally with each passing week.

Now, the latest feature added to the device is possibly the most requested feature for anyone who has tried the Nreal Light: hand tracking.

Continue reading to learn more about how Nreal is adding hand tracking and what the capability will bring to the Nreal Light...

Image via Clay AIR

REALITY BITES: Just when it looked like SXSW organizers would insist that the show must go on, despite Apple, Amazon, Netflix, WarnerMedia and others canceling their travel itineraries for Austin, Texas due to the coronavirus outbreak and a petition to shut it down surpassing 50,000 signatures, the festival has been forced to relent at the eleventh hour. Following the lead of the City of Austin, SXSW has canceled the March dates of its festival.

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 Courtney Bacon/US Army

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