Market Reality: Magic Leap Preps Magicverse, Facebook Reveals Computer Vision Research, HBO's 'Watchmen' Enter AR

Magic Leap Preps Magicverse, Facebook Reveals Computer Vision Research, HBO's 'Watchmen' Enter AR

Over the past year, Magic Leap has teased its cross-platform vision of the AR cloud, which it dubs the Magicverse. While the company shared a timeline for its debut next year, it also served up new developer tools for the present.

Facebook is also looking to the future of augmented reality software and hardware. This week, it published research for new computer vision methods that could make their way into future products and services.

Meanwhile, 8th Wall continues to capitalize on the current mobile AR segment with a new offering that promises to make development and publishing of web-based AR experiences even easier for brands. And HBO continues to deploy augmented reality as a means for advertising its prestige drama properties.

Magic Leap Sets 2020 for Launch of Magicverse, Intros New Dev Toolkit

Speaking at the Future Investment Initiative conference in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia on Thursday, Magic Leap's chief product officer, Omar Khan, revealed that the Magicverse SDK 1.0 release is scheduled to drop in the first quarter of 2020.

A slide from his presentation confirms that the SDK will be available for not only Lumin OS but also for Unity, Unreal, iOS, and Android. This would enable developers to build apps that work between Magic Leap One and mobile devices.

Back in the world of currently available products and services, Magic Leap launched the Magic Leap Toolkit for Unity on Wednesday. Continue reading to find out what the Magic Leap Toolkit offers developers and how it relates to the Magicverse of the future...

REALITY BITES: Medical software company Augmedix, one of the earliest developers to take advantage of Google Glass prior to the Enterprise Edition, is capitalizing on its early-starter status. The company just closed a $19 million Series B funding round to accelerate product development and scale its reach to more hospitals and clinics.

Facebook's Researchers Reveal One More Key to Smartglasses Development

Just like Apple and Google, Facebook has been working to develop computer vision shortcuts designed to give mobile apps augmented reality superpowers.

And while Apple's ARKit and Google's ARCore use computer vision to guess the position of horizontal and vertical surfaces, Facebook researchers now claim to have prototype mechanisms that can now derive an object's 3D shape based on its 2D image information.

Continue reading to learn more about Facebook's new computer vision innovations and how they could contribute to Facebook's AR platform and smartglasses development...

Image via Facebook

REALITY BITES: Enterprise AR software company Atheer has landed a huge client in the Volkswagen Group UK. The engagement will start with a pilot program at Volkswagen and Audi dealerships that offers a remote live expert system that will run on Atheer's platform and Real Wear's HMT-1 headset.

8th Wall Launches Cloud Editor + Hosting Solution

Silicon Valley-based startup 8th Wall has spent much of the last few years building a reputation for enabling AR experiences that are platform agnostic via web browsers and mobile apps. Now, 8th Wall is promising to give developers the freedom to build and host AR experiences from anywhere via a simple web browser.

On Tuesday, 8th Wall launched Cloud Editor + Hosting, a new cloud-based AR platform that enables developers to author and host WebAR experiences via their web browsers.

Read further to learn more about Cloud Editor + Hosting and how it fits into 8th Wall's ecosystem of platform-agnostic AR tools...

REALITY BITES: The augmented reality industry saw a pair of notable leadership changes this week. Blippar appointed Faisal Galaria as its new CEO, with founder Ambarish Mitra stepping aside and filling the role of chief product officer. Meanwhile, Gordon Meyer, owner of Enginebloc Tech Marketing and former Lampix executive, will serve as president of the VR/AR Association's New York chapter. "My passion for XR is no secret and I am excited to drive innovation, learnings, and connections for my colleagues in the industry within New York City and beyond," said Meyer.

HBO Returns to Augmented Reality with 'Watchmen' Promos

Surprising recent commuters at bus stops in Los Angeles and New York, outdoor media company Outfront Media used the cover of night to add Watchmen-inspired augmented reality advertising displays the company calls "liveboards."

After leaning on augmented reality for its outdoor advertising, HBO called on augmented reality again via Snapchat to promote Watchmen. On Thursday, the Snapchat app for iOS and Android displayed an AR Lens sponsored by HBO that turns users into two of the characters.

Read on to learn more about the outdoor advertising campaign and its use of AR, then continue reading for details on the sponsored Snapchat AR experience...

REALITY BITES: With the HoloLens 2 starting to make its way into the hands of enterprise customers ahead of a wider release, app support is ramping up. The latest example comes via DataMesh Director, which now supports the HoloLens 2.

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 Future Investment Initiative/YouTube

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