Market Reality: Magic Leap's Branding Comes into Focus, Google Backs AR Cloud, & L'Oreal Takes Over AR Beauty

Magic Leap's Branding Comes into Focus, Google Backs AR Cloud, & L'Oreal Takes Over AR Beauty

Noted poet T.S. Elliot once wrote that "April is the cruelest month." But Magic Leap might argue that March is the most miserable, as the Ides of March brought more legal woes to augmented reality startup. Elsewhere, its closely-held branding secrets have been spilled by way of the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).

March isn't bad for every business in augmented reality, as AR cloud startup Blue Vision received a vote of confidence from Google by way of funding, and ModiFace cashed in via an acquisition by L'Oreal.

Magic Leap Faces Yet Another Employee-Related Lawsuit

The legal travails of Magic Leap appear to have no end in sight, as a lawsuit filed by an ex-employee further threatens to dampen the startup's 2018 launch.

A new legal complaint has been filed by former Magic Leap worker Kimberly Couto that alleges the company employed hundreds of workers as independent contractors to avoid paying the proper taxes on roughly $36 million in employee pay, according to a report from Bloomberg.

For all the gory details, and Magic Leap's response to the allegations, read on...

REALITY BITES: The Washington Post reports that augmented reality for visualizing traffic congestion is among the $20 billion of transformative projects recently proposed by the Trump administration.

Magic Leap Files for Possible Retail & Conference Event Trademarks

Magic Leap's recent flurry of patent applications prompted us to look around for any trademark movements from the company, and it turns out that the Florida-based company has been quite busy.

In fact, a number of recent trademark filing updates indicate strong interest in several names that point toward Magic Leap's near-term plans for branding and consumer outreach.

Check out all the goodies we uncovered...

Image via Magic Leap

REALITY BITES: With the annual Game Developer Conference kicking off in San Francisco next week, augmented reality is expected to have a big presence. To that end, GDC interviewed the developers behind indie game studio Tag of Joy about its augmented reality work.

Blue Vision Launches AR Cloud Platform with Google Funding

GV (formerly known as Google Ventures), the investment arm of Google parent company Alphabet, is the lead investor in a $14.5 million Series A round for AR cloud startup Blue Vision.

The startup used the announcement as an opportunity to emerge from stealth research and development mode, and on Thursday began offering early access to the SDK for its Blue Vision AR Cloud platform.

Why is the AR cloud so interesting that even Google is going big with investments in it? We've got your answers...

Image by Blue Vision/YouTube

REALITY BITES: Reporting from SXSW, Al-Jazeera explored the potential ethical impacts of augmented reality on journalism.

ModiFace Becomes L'Oreal's in-House AR Department

The cosmetics industry faced a rude awakening on Friday as beauty behemoth L'Oréal gobbled up ModiFace, one of the leading providers of augmented reality technology to the cosmetics industry (price details for the acquisition were not disclosed).

As part of the company's ongoing digital strategy, L'Oréal expects to extend ModiFace's augmented reality and artificial intelligence tools to its 34 brands, which include Lancôme, Giorgio Armani, Urban Decay, Maybelline, and more. In addition, ModiFace, as part of L'Oréal's Digital Services Factory, will collaborate with the company's Advanced Research division while continuing to house its 70 engineers, researchers, and scientists at its Toronto headquarters.

The move has potentially earth-moving implications throughout the cosmetics industry. Continue reading for our analysis...

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 Magic Leap/Modified by Next Reality

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