Market Reality: Lenovo Misses the Mark, Vuzix Targets Security Market, & 8th Wall & Blippar Capitalize Web-Based AR

Lenovo Misses the Mark, Vuzix Targets Security Market, & 8th Wall & Blippar Capitalize Web-Based AR

During the recent Augmented World Expo (AWE), we had a chance to try out the Lenovo ThinkReality A6 AR headset. Unfortunately, the experience was all downhill from there.

Meanwhile, Vuzix continues to pursue both enterprise and consumer customers with Vuzix Blade, with a new partnership offering a solution for the security market and a promotional deal sweetening the pot for potential customers on the consumer end.

Finally, web-based AR continues to grab the attention of advertisers, with Toyota opting for 8th Wall's web-based platform for its AR ad campaign. It's no wonder that Blippar decided to leverage web-based AR for its return to the AR industry spotlight.

Lenovo's Enterprise AR Headset Falls Flat

In the technology space, there are certain brands you grow to depend on. Whether it's due to a long, multi-decade track record of success, or new innovations that blow you away, some tech names accrue a rare kind of brand equity with users that's difficult to earn.

That's why it gives us no pleasure to say that Lenovo's new ThinkReality A6 augmented reality headset delivers a very poor experience, in pretty much every aspect, despite the company's history of high-performance technology offerings.

Continue reading to find out why the Lenovo ThinkReality A6 comes up short in its enterprise AR ambitions...

Image by Adario Strange/Next Reality

REALITY BITES: With eyes on deploying its 5G network, AT&T has become a big booster of augmented reality, as reflected by guest speakers at its AT&T Shape conference. Magic Leap CEO Rony Abovitz will join AT&T Communications CEO John Donovan to talk about Magic Leap's Magicverse ecosystem (followed by an '80s night party sponsored by Magic Leap), while representatives from Niantic & WB Games will showcase the forthcoming Harry Potter: Wizards Unite title in the context of the future of AR gaming.

Vuzix Pursues Security Market with Blade & Tests Consumer Market with Price Cut

Perhaps it's a coincidence that the Vuzix Blade smartglasses look like the sunglasses that a police officer would wear, but a new partnership with an AI software company makes the wearable a perfect fit for law enforcement. The iFalcon Face Control Mobile system pairs facial recognition software from developed by Dubai-based NNTC with Vuzix's Blade smartglasses and a portable computer pack to serve as an integrated solution for police and security officers.

Meanwhile, After North cut the base price of its Focals smartglasses, Vuzix is now testing the waters of a lower price point for its Blade smartglasses. As part of its "Dads and Grads Summer Spree" promotion, Vuzix is reducing the price of its consumer-grade smartglasses by 30% to $699, with free shipping for a limited time for US customers.

Read on to learn more about Vuzix's foray into the law enforcement and security market, then continue reading to see how Vuzix is making Blade more attractive to consumers...

REALITY BITES: Vuforia parent PTC has made a few moves to shore up its AR offerings to its customers. In addition to an investment into and partnership with Matterport, the company recently acquired augmented reality app developer TWNKLS.

Toyota Starts Up AR Ad Campaign via 8th Wall's Web AR Platform

While Toyota ranks as the leading automotive brand in the world, the company is a follower when it comes to augmented reality. Nonetheless, Toyota is catching up with the competition with a web-based augmented reality advertising campaign for the 2020 Corolla.

Executed by ad agency Conill and 8th Wall's web-based AR platform, the experience is delivered via mobile banner ads to Hispanic customers in the US. The campaign is limited to Android devices for now, though Conill plans to extend the experience to iOS users later this year.

Read further to find out why Toyota has opted for a web-based AR advertising experience and why 8th Wall fit the bill...

Images via 8th Wall

REALITY BITES: According to analyst Michael Levine at Pivotal Research Group, Snap, Inc. is enjoying an increase in user growth on the strength and popularity of its augmented reality experiences. However, even an augmented reality tech boost couldn't help the flawed X-Men: Dark Phoenix movie. Twentieth Century Fox employed a Shoppable AR Lens in a bid to sell tickets, but the movie had the worst opening weekend of any X-Men film.

Blippar Builds Web-Based AR Platform for Advertisers

After one of Britain's "Brothers Bling" bought Blippar out of bankruptcy, the mobile augmented reality company is getting back to business with the addition of web-based AR capabilities to its platform.

On Thursday, Blippar revealed that an update of its Blippbuilder AR platform, scheduled to arrive in July, will include WebAR, a toolkit for developing web-based AR experiences that customers can access through web links or QR codes.

Continue reading to learn more about WebAR and how the addition to Blippbuilder positions Blippar for a comeback...

REALITY BITES: Unity Technologies has entered the infamous fraternity of tech companies (which includes Google, Magic Leap, Upload VR, and others) facing charges of workplace impropriety, as a former executive has filed suit against the company on claims that Unity CEO John Riccitiello sexually harassed her.

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 Adario Strange/Next Reality

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