Market Reality: Magic Leap Demotes Execs, Artie Makes AR Smarter, & Walmart Adds AR to Its Shopping Cart

Magic Leap Demotes Execs, Artie Makes AR Smarter, & Walmart Adds AR to Its Shopping Cart

Signaling a new direction forward for the company, Magic Leap shook up its executive suite by re-assigning to top leaders to new advisory roles. Meanwhile, a new startup backed by Hollywood executives, tech venture firms, and notable angel investors plans to bring new life to AR for marketing entertainment properties.

And it's the holiday season, so it only fitting that two of America's top retailers, Walmart and Target, launch new AR experiences for customers to unwrap. Finally, an augmented reality tool that is destined to revolutionize organizational communication, the AR meeting app, has touched down this week, and we've had the chance to test drive them both.

Magic Leap Moves Two Executives to Advisory Roles

In the aftermath of the launch of the Magic Leap One, Magic Leap has ejected two more executives from their leadership roles.

Chief marketing officer Brenda Freeman and chief business officer Rachna Bhasin have been transitioned into advisory roles but will continue to report to CEO Rony Abovitz.

Continue reading to learn more about their new roles, and what these moves say about the company's direction moving forward...

REALITY BITES: As one of the most valuable companies in the world, Apple isn't exactly suffering. But as iPhone sales decline (accounting for about 60% of the company's revenue), Apple apparently needs a new winning product category. According to CNBC, AR could be the savior Apple CEO Tim Cook is hoping for.

VR Vets Vie to Make AR Smarter with Artie

Hollywood has already proven that it's on board with augmented reality, with examples ranging from Avengers: Infinity War to Ralph Breaks the Internet. But one startup wants to make the augmented reality content that's being used to promote TV and film entertainment smarter.

The new company is called Artie, and it's the brainchild of Ryan Horrigan, the former chief content officer at VR studio Felix & Paul, and his co-founder Armando Kirwin, a former producer at Milk VR and VRSE.works. Together, they're working to introduce a solution that produces autonomous avatars that can respond to user commands and emotions, as well as their surroundings.

Read more about the platform, how it works, and how it could evolve AR marketing for entertainment...

Images by Artie/Vimeo (1, 2)

REALITY BITES: Sure, augmented reality is a hot technology, but are companies jumping into the AR pool before they learn how to swim? Alban Denoyel, co-founder & CEO of Sketchfab, explains why companies should invest in 3D content before they worry about building AR apps.

Walmart & Target Take Different Approaches to Retail AR

This year's holiday shopping season is shaping up to be fertile ground for augmented reality to show its worth, as both Walmart and Target have crafted immersive experiences designed to engage shoppers in the coming weeks.

But the marketing similarities end there, because the AR methods used by both companies vary greatly.

Read further to learn about the new AR experiences and how the retailers diverge on their AR strategies...

Images via Zappar, Tommy Palladino/Next Reality

REALITY BITES: We've established a new section on Next Reality that pull together all of the news on the business of augmented reality. So if you're craving news on investments, executive arrivals and departures, market analysis, and the like, check out our AR Business section!

Virtual Meeting Apps Emerge for HoloLens, Magic Leap One

In recent years, many software publishers have tried to sell the business community on remote meetings via VR, but if social media chatter is any indication, it hasn't taken off in a big way just yet.

However, for some, the notion of holding remote meetings using augmented reality, a medium in which you're still directly tied to the real world and not closed off in a blindfold-style VR headset, might be the better solution. Today, two such options are readily available to the public.

Keep reading to learn more about Magic Leap's Avatar Chat.

Then, read further to see the experience from Spatial, a New York-based startup that's primarily available on the Microsoft HoloLens...

Image via Spatial

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 Adario Strange/Next Reality

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