This week, Next Reality released the fifth and final set of profiles on the NR30 leaders in augmented reality, with this chapter focusing on the influencers in the industry.
Coincidentally, a company with a representative among the NR30 AR Influencers, Magic Leap, monopolized the augmented reality spotlight this week with its L.E.A.P. conference. While Magic Leap introduced a plethora of apps and future AR experiences during its keynote, the company also announced an expansion of availability for the Magic Leap One and a deepening of its relationship with one of its strategic investors, AT&T.
Elsewhere, an AR and VR headset maker closed a funding round that will enable it to bring its device with industry-leading display resolution to market, and Snapchat made a play for the streaming TV market with an augmented reality twist.
AR Influencers include those who have achieved or otherwise significantly supported groundbreaking augmented reality experiences, from marketing and business use-cases to new ways to tell stories or create art. They introduce new ways to apply AR for work and play and tutor developers on how to create experiences for new platforms. These influencers set the standard for ethics and morals in the field. They lead, inspiring many others to follow.
As an emerging field, influencers are more critical now for augmented reality than they will be years down the road. The field of AR influencers isn't exactly a blank canvas, but it still contains more blank space than crowded, colorful basket of individuals as you might find in the mobile world, for example.
Nevertheless, these pioneering AR influencers are showing where the technology is going and, more importantly, where it should go...
REALITY BITES: While there are a number of companies working on AR cloud platforms, Ubiquity6 is making a strong case to be included among the leaders. Its latest proof point comes as the company was selected to participate in the Disney Accelerator Demo Day, which took place on Wednesday.
Like many things associated with Magic Leap, the start of the company's first annual L.E.A.P. conference got off to a unique start. Taking the stage on Wednesday morning in Los Angeles, the company's CEO, Rony Abovitz, gave a brief introductory speech welcoming the crowd and outlining the mission of Magic Leap.
The epically long (three hours!) keynote event was kicked off by a kind of roundtable discussion between Abovitz, Neal Stephenson (renowned science fiction author and Magic Leap's chief futurist), and John Gaeta (a veteran of The Matrix franchise and Magic Leap's senior vice president of creative strategy).
And that was just the beginning. Read on to find out about all the apps, products, and AR experiences Magic Leap and its content partners have been working on...
REALITY BITES: Right on the heels of L.E.A.P. conference comes the Augmented Reality Expo Europe. The event's organizers have highlighted the 10 presenters most likely to excite augmented and virtual reality enthusiasts.
One the main gripes against cutting-edge augmented reality headsets like the Magic Leap One and the HoloLens is the price — they're pretty expensive compared to most consumer devices.
Well, now some of that pain has been relieved for those looking to pick up a Magic Leap One as the company has just announced a financing option that allows anyone with a spare $96/month to gradually pay their way into full ownership of the device.
Read on to find out how to get your hands on the device and how financing will work...
REALITY BITES: Just adding an AR component to a product doesn't mean it will fit every marketing campaign, or that it'll be successful. Designer/developer Angelica Ortiz highlights some AR apps that get it right and gives campaign planners tips on how to decide if AR is the right tool for the job.
Magic Leap and AT&T have lifted the lid on multiple parts of their mysterious relationship today. According to AT&T Communications CEO John Donovan, the company is planning to launch a beta version of DirectTV Now for the Magic Leap One in 2019.
The announcement came onstage on Wednesday at the L.E.A.P. conference in Los Angeles alongside Magic Leap CEO Rony Abovitz and Magic Leap chief product officer Omar Khan.
Continue reading to see what it looks like to watch DirecTV Now on Magic Leap One and learn about another new development that will make Magic Leap employees and developers in Florida happy...
REALITY BITES: According to a report from Intel, the wireless industry stands to earn $1.3 trillion from deploying 5G network technologies. The report also predicts that approximately 90% of 5G traffic will come from video, with augmented and virtual reality representing an expanding category for content publishers to reach consumers.
A Series B round of funding, totaling $30 million, will enable Helsinki-based startup Varjo to launch its industrial-grade augmented and virtual reality headset capable of "human-eye resolution" before the end of the year.
The investment will fund an expansion of Varjo's hardware and software teams from 80 employees to more than 200 within the next year and the global launch of the VR headset later in fourth quarter 2018 with an AR add-on arriving within the first half of 2019.
Keep reading to find out what "human eye resolution" means and why this could represent the next step in enterprise adoption of AR...
REALITY BITES: Designer Marvin Stracke wrote his bachelors thesis on intelligent transportation systems. And while autonomous vehicles are the future, Stracke notes that augmented reality will still play a major role, with spatial mapping being a prerequisite for digital traffic systems.
Snapchat is joining the ranks of Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, YouTube, and Apple in the trend toward streaming original programming, but with a twist that rings true to its roots.
Three of the company's new shows debuted Wednesday in the Stories section of the Snapchat app for iOS and Android. Called Snap Originals, the slate of programs consist of scripted shows and documentaries displayed via vertical orientation, with augmented reality experiences integrated into several shows.
Continue reading to learn more about the shows, how augmented reality fits into them, and what makes Snapchat's take on immersive storytelling different...
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.