Market Reality: HTC Vive Concept Smartglasses, Coronavirus Hits Apple, Holographic Celebs, & Snapchat Ground Effects

HTC Vive Concept Smartglasses, Coronavirus Hits Apple, Holographic Celebs, & Snapchat Ground Effects

The coronavirus continues to disrupt the tech industry, including the augmented reality segment, with Apple and the iPhone the latest to feel the impact.

After the cancellation of Mobile World Congress due to the virus outbreak, HTC proceeded with its unveiling of HTC Vive prototypes, including a potential consumer smartglasses concept.

Meanwhile, Snapchat continues to innovate on its mobile AR platform with the introduction of new capabilities, and a holographic Whitney Houston tour could indicate the future path of AR in entertainment.

Apple Faces iPhone Shortage Due to Coronavirus

If you thought the news coming from China about the coronavirus might not affect your daily life in Europe and in the Americas, think again.

Apple, the maker of the best selling augmented reality hardware on the market, the iPhone, has just revealed that the coronavirus will create a shortage of its flagship mobile device this year.

Read further for more details on how the outbreak is impacting iPhone production and sales...

REALITY BITES: Apple and Nreal aren't the only AR hardware makers maker facing fallout from the coronavirus outbreak. Startup Tilt Five has notified its Kickstarter backers that halted production from contract manufacturers in China will result in delays delivering beta units. Meanwhile, Facebook's Facebook/Oculus and Sony's PlayStation unit have pulled out of the Game Developers Conference. However, Epic Games is standing pat, confirming that it will attend the conference as planned.

HTC's Prototype Wearables Give Glimpse at Future AR Smartglasses

Part of the fallout from the canceled Mobile World Congress is that a range of products, ideas, and designs slated for reveal in Barcelona are now being showcased without the framing and context of the massive tech gathering.

Two of those releases come from VR giant HTC Vive, which just revealed a couple of new designs for headsets that pierce the VR layer and enter into the realm of augmented reality.

Continue reading for more details on HTC's next-generation headsets and how they set the stage for the coming wave of consumer-grade AR wearables...

Image via HTC

REALITY BITES: Worldwide IT company Unisys is the latest enterprise company to adopt augmented reality for its field workforce. With more than 3,800 field service technicians worldwide, the company has tapped the Vuzix M300XL smartglasses and Help Lightning's remote AR platform for its implementation.

Snapchat Launches New Ground Transformation AR Capability

The sky is the limit when it comes to augmented reality, but Snapchat's latest innovation is keeping its AR platform grounded.

On Thursday, the company published a pair of new Lenses that highlight its new ground transformation technology.

Read on to learn more about the AR experiences and how the new capabilities align with Snap's business strategy for augmented reality...

Image via Snap

Holographic Whitney Houston Goes on Tour

We've been so worried about volumetric scans possibly robbing celebrities and performers of their agency and right to control their image that, somewhere along the way, we forgot that scans may not always be necessary to produce passable holographic performances.

That's the dynamic in play as UK-based Base Hologram has announced a new musical tour of its holographic version of Whitney Houston, the legendary singer who died tragically back in 2012.

Keep reading to learn more about the implications of such post-celebrity death immersive experiences...

REALITY BITES: Mad Gaze, just one among the growing legion of Chinese startups with smartphone-tethered smartglasses on the way, has some additional financial backing to help push its product to market. The company recently closed a Series A funding round of nearly $19 million with participation from DNS Capital & Black30 Venture.

REALITY BITES: The launch of Magicverse, Magic Leap's flavor of AR cloud, is imminent, but in the meantime, CEO Rony Abovitz took the time to share a preview for followers on Twitter. The company is apparently working on an app that will enable users to publish persistent content to the physical world. Examples of content created in the app include a Monty Python-influenced scene that includes a spaceship ride and a virtual retail store that converts into a music museum.

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.

Cover image via Spectacles

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