Market Reality: Insiders on Apple's Smartglasses Plans, NASA Bets on HoloLens, RealWear Banks $80 Million in Funding

Insiders on Apple's Smartglasses Plans, NASA Bets on HoloLens, RealWear Banks $80 Million in Funding

The future of smartglasses for consumers seems ever dependent on Apple's entry into the market. Coincidentally, the exit of Apple's long-time design chief Jony Ive has shed some light on that eventual entrance.

Meanwhile, as the enterprise sector of AR continues to expand, one of the leading AR wearable makers for the market, RealWear, has closed a significant funding round to continue its own growth. In the science arena, Microsoft's HoloLens has set the standard for AR hardware and software to date, and the device is proving just how powerful it is in assisting NASA with its mission to Saturn's moon, Titan.

Finally, while AR headsets and smartglasses get the attention for 3D content interaction, we had the opportunity to test the latest device from Looking Glass Factory, which proposes a flavor of 3D that doesn't require wearables at all.

Apple Insiders Confirm Existence of Smartglasses Work by Design Team

A new profile on Apple's exiting design chief Jony Ive, the man behind many of the company's most successful products, paints a fuller picture of what led to his departure.

But amid all the talk of a gradual decline in Ive's presence in Cupertino, as well as reports of disillusionment with the company's direction, a tidbit in the report hits on one of our favorite topics: Apple's rumored smartglasses.

Continue reading to see what Apple insiders revealed about Apple's AR hardware plans...

REALITY BITES: Harry Potter: Wizards Unite hasn't taken the world by storm yet, ranking far behind Pokémon GO on the app store charts. But one investor says his firm's barometer for Niantic isn't necessarily the new game, but rather the Niantic Real World Platform that serves as its foundation. Elsewhere, Niantic has created a mild controversy, as a number of Fortresses in the game are anchored at places of worship.

RealWear Closes $80 Million Series B Funding Round

Some investors play the short game, placing their bets on industries that show the quickest return on their investment, and, in the augmented reality space, that means the enterprise sector.

RealWear is among the smartglasses makers capitalizing on enterprise AR, and the company has just closed an $80 million Series B funding round, mostly based on its success with that market. The company previously closed a $17 million Series A round in 2018.

Read further to find out who the latest investors in RealWear are and how the company has succeeded in the enterprise sector so far...

REALITY BITES: Fast food chain Subway has served up what appears to be the first web-based AR experience using Google's new Scene View feature for ARCore, as well as Apple's AR Quick Look for ARKit. The experience, which promotes Subway's new Ciabatta Collection, was built by Glimpse Group subsidiary QReal (formerly Kabaq) using Scene View, which can determine which 3D model format to push out based on the device's browser.

HoloLens Helps NASA Prepare for Its Mission to Titan

NASA is going to Saturn's moon Titan, and the space organization is using augmented reality help them do it.

The team at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) has been working for years to get its robotic probe mission to Titan approved, and just days ago, the mission was finally given the green light.

Keep reading to find out the role that HoloLens will play in the mission.

REALITY BITES: 8th Wall has emerged as a leader in web-based AR experiences, and its latest iteration of its platform reinforces that reputation. The company recently partnered with 8i to put volumetric 3D models on its Web AR platform.

Hands-On: See Another Vision of AR Through the Looking Glass

Here at Next Reality, our typical approach to all things augmented reality involves vision combined with remote control, either via a handheld device, gaze control, or hand/finger tracking.

But a new dynamic takes the notion of interaction with virtual content into a new realm: touching virtual objects, sort of. That's one of the interactions delivered by Brooklyn, New York-based startup Looking Glass Factory.

Read on for our hands-on impressions of the latest device from Looking Glass Factory and how it offers an alternate take on immersive computing...

REALITY BITES: Augmented reality data visualization company Taqtile has won Microsoft's US Partner of the Year Award for 2019 for the Mixed Reality category in the Intelligent Cloud group. The company specializes in knowledge capture and collaboration for enterprises.

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 RealWear

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