Market Reality: North Plans Smartglasses Pop-Up Stores, Adobe Buys Allegorithmic, & Candy Ventures Snags Blippar Assets

North Plans Smartglasses Pop-Up Stores, Adobe Buys Allegorithmic, & Candy Ventures Snags Blippar Assets

The era of smartglasses designed for consumers has officially begun, as shipments of North Focals began arriving at its stores this week. And the company now has plans to expand its retail footprint.

Meanwhile, a new player is emerging in the 3D content creation market, currently led by Unity and Epic Games, as Adobe acquired Allegorithmic.

Finally, after the tragic end to the story of Blippar, an optimistic new chapter for a new version of the company began as Candy Ventures bought Blippar's assets.

North Expanding Retail Reach with Focals Pop-Ups in April

Just over two months ago, smartglasses startup North opened the doors at its two brick-and-mortar retail locations in Toronto and New York and began accepting orders for Focals.

On Thursday, the company announced that those initial customers can get ready to pick up their wearables, as the first shipments have now arrived in stores. Additionally, customers in North America who don't live in the two aforementioned cities will soon be able to get fitted for a pair of Focals in their own backyard.

Continue to reading to find out when and where you can get your hands on a pair of Focals, and what this milestone means for the augmented reality industry's path to consumer smartglasses glory...

REALITY BITES: Niantic CEO John Hanke will deliver a keynote presentation at the next Mobile World Congress Barcelona, which starts on Feb. 25. With Harry Potter: Wizards Unite set to launch in 2019 and the Niantic Real World Platform under development, could Hanke have something big to announce?

Adobe Acquires Allegorithmic & Its Substance Suite of 3D Texturing Tools

Already a powerhouse for its graphic design tools, Adobe is making a run at the 3D content creation realm dominated by Unity and Epic Games by acquiring software maker Allegorithmic.

The move, announced on Wednesday, will allow Adobe to add Allegorthmic's Substance tools for 3D painting and texturing to its Creative Cloud software family, which will include the Project Aero augmented reality content authoring tool when it becomes widely available.

Keep reading to learn how Adobe's big move impacts the 3D content creation industry and why its immersive content strategy may satiate the growing demand for AR experiences...

Image by Shopify/YouTube

REALITY BITES: After practically apologizing for adding banner ads as a necessary evil, Tony Parisi, Unity's head of AR and VR advertising, disclosed encouraging results from early AR campaigns in a recent blog blog post. One campaign measured a 70% increase in awareness of the ad's topic, fairly eclipsing the standard of 9.7% for other ad methods.

Candy Ventures Emerges as Winning Bidder for Blippar Assets

Augmented reality and computer vision company Blippar has a new lease on life, as previous investor Candy Ventures has completed a successful bid to acquire the assets of the beleaguered company.

Blippar entered administration (the UK's version of bankruptcy) last month after a dispute between investors. In a statement, Candy Ventures blames the Khazanah Nasional Berhad, the sovereign wealth fund of Malaysia, for blocking further funding that would have enabled Blippar to avoid administration.

Read on to find out why Candy Ventures has doubled down on Blippar and how the relaunched company may learn from its previous missteps and succeed in a market that is much more crowded than when Blippar began in 2011...

Image by Blippar/YouTube

REALITY BITES: Not satisfied to copy just the gameplay of Pokémon GO, the team behind the Ghostbusters World location-based AR game has taken a page out of Niantic's playbook with brand partnerships. While Pokémon GO installed Pokestops at 12,000 Starbucks locations (in addition to having its own signature drink), Ghostbusters World has teamed up with 7-Eleven stores in Canada to place Dimensional Doors at 630 locations. No word on an ectoplasm-flavored Slushee, though.

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 North

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