Market Reality: The Matrix vs. The Metaverse, Xiaomi AR Wearable, & Snap Art AR History

The Matrix vs. The Metaverse, Xiaomi AR Wearable, & Snap Art AR History

This was a busy week in the tech space. After everyone got over the major announcements of Apple's latest, we examined the metaverse through the lens of Hollywood, and then took a closer look at Facebook's first smartglasses.

We also took a trip back through history using Snapchat's AR Lenses in Paris, and got a glimpse of China's first big powerhouse AR wearable from wireless giant Xiaomi.

Oh, and don't forget to check out our XR industry job alerts, there might be something in there that might be right up your immersive alley...

The New 'Matrix' Is Here, What Does It Have to Teach Us About the Real Metaverse?

"Unfortunately, no one can be told what the matrix is, you have to see it for yourself." That's the line just before Morpheus gives Thomas Anderson (aka Neo) the red pill, finally opening his eyes to the tapestry of code that has veiled his eyes for his entire life.

It's a seminal moment in the film that is now being mirrored in the real world as many are finally becoming familiar with the idea of our own emerging Matrix, currently referred to as "the metaverse."

Keep reading to understand exactly how the newest Matrix film can help us unpack the emerging real-world metaverse...

Image via Warner Bros.

REALITY BITES: Although this week's iPhone event didn't yield any augmented reality surprises, insiders were nevertheless surprised that Apple CEO Tim Cook devoted almost no time to AR as usual. Well, in a follow-up interview with gadget YouTuber iJustine, Cook did take some time to address AR saying, "I think AR is one of these very few profound technologies that we will look back on one day and went, how did we live our lives without it?"

Inside the Design, Packaging, & Product Experience for Facebook's Smartglasses

The competition to secure the top slot in the smartglasses space is now in full swing, with Facebook challenging Snap's Spectacles and Amazon's Echo Frames with its own collaboration with Ray-Ban called Stories.

What makes Facebook's offering so unique is that it is the first Big Tech player to team with a luxury glasses maker to enter into the smartglasses fray. So did the partnership yield a better fit and finish?

Continue reading to get an up-close and personal look at the first smartglasses product from Facebook and see how its collaboration with Ray-Ban puts it ahead of some in the pack...

Image by Adario Strange/Next Reality

JOB ALERTS: Snap is hiring a front end engineer for augmented reality in its Los Angeles office. Apple is hiring a UX Researcher for AR/VR applications based at its Cupertino, California headquarters. Google is looking for a design lead for its display systems for augmented reality based at it Mountain View, California headquarters. Siemens is on the hunt for a research engineer in the area of machine vision & augmented reality.

Xiaomi Takes a Bold but Incremental Leap into the AR Wearables Space

As if answering Apple's major iPhone event on Tuesday, Chinese mobile giant Xiaomi held its own product launch event the following day.

And while the various smartphone offerings from the tech giant were impressive, it's the smartglasses product that the company revealed that raised the most eyebrows in the augmented reality space.

Read on to get a look at what China's AR wearable from its biggest wireless company looks like and why it could be about to impact the US wearable market...

Image via Xiaomi

REALITY BITES: Despite the challenges of the pandemic, which put the brakes on the annual AWE conference last year, the augmented reality conference is back with a vengeance. This year's conference will take place from November 9th to the 11th in Santa Clara, California. Some of the speakers will include Niantic CEO John Hanke, Campire exec Jay Wright, Nonny De la Peña of the Emblematic Group, Steve Lukas of Qualcomm, and Carolina Arguelles and Kimberlee Archer of Snap, Inc. You can still register for an early bird ticket here.

Snapchat Begins Paris AR Innovation Journey with Major Sotheby's Collaboration

One of the most iconic architectural landmarks on the planet, the Arc de Triomphe in Paris, France, will become a part of augmented reality history thanks to a new project from Snap.

The occasion is the launch of Christo Vladimirov Javacheff's posthumous art installation in the center of Paris, decades after the famed artist first envisioned the work.

Continue reading to discover a part of French art history you may not have been aware of via the magic of Snapchat's AR Lens technology...

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 Warner Bros.

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