Market Reality: Nreal Light Goes Hollywood, Coronavirus Disrupts AR Industry, & Apple Takes on Snapchat

Nreal Light Goes Hollywood, Coronavirus Disrupts AR Industry, & Apple Takes on Snapchat

Smartglasses startup Nreal enjoyed some highs and endured some lows this week, as the company landed a product placement with Kevin Bacon but then faced production issues related to the coronavirus outbreak.

But Nreal wasn't the only company dealing with the virus, as some of the biggest companies with roles in AR were forced to pull back from one of the biggest tech events of the year.

In a different kind of viral, Hulu is trying to catch on to Instagram's "What (Blank) Are You" trend with an AR ad campaign on Snapchat.

Speaking of Snapchat, it's facing a new challenge from Apple in the e-commerce realm of AR.

Kevin Bacon Wears Nreal Light for 5G Promotion

The international profile of augmented reality startup Nreal continues to quietly rise thanks to gradual updates and various strategic branding opportunities.

Among the latest and most prominent is the appearance of none other than Hollywood legend Kevin Bacon using the Nreal Light in the middle of a busy UK train station.

Read further to learn more about Nreal Light's Hollywood moment as well as a meet-and-greet between Nreal's founder and Microsoft's HoloLens lead...

REALITY BITES: After partially pivoting to enterprise last year, Magic Leap is also revamping its approach to courting developers. As opposed to its Independent Creators Program that awarded funding to developers to build out their AR apps, Magic Leap's new Access Program will award Magic Leap 1 headsets to developers based on their app proposals.

Amazon, Facebook, Nvidia, & More Face Fallout from Coronavirus Outbreak

The deadly Wuhan coronavirus outbreak has not only has claimed lives in China but also has caused disruption around the globe, particularly in the tech industry. To date, the virus has claimed more than 1,000 lives in China, according to the country's officials.

Now the virus has levied production consequences in the augmented reality segment of the tech world.

Continue reading to find out how the outbreak has disrupted one of the biggest tech conferences of the year and put an AR wearable into production limbo...

Image via Nreal

REALITY BITES: After buying Oculus for $2 billion in 2014 and acquiring brain control interface startup CTRL-Labs in a deal reportedly worth as much as $1 billion, Facebook continues to buy its way into the AR/VR space. Its latest acquisition comes via computer vision startup Scape Technologies, which specializes in visual positioning services. Meanwhile, the company is also inviting Spark AR developers to its Facebook Hackathon, where $21,000 in prizes as well as passes to F8 are up for grabs.

Apple Answers Snapchat's Shoppable AR with Apple Pay Button for AR Quick Look

Snapchat is probably used to Facebook copying its features by now, but Apple borrowing a page out of its playbook is likely a bit more surprising.

But that's exactly what has happened, as Apple has added custom actions to its AR Quick Look protocol for web-based AR content that owes some influence to Snapchat's Shoppable AR platform.

Read further to learn more about the e-commerce features that Apple is bringing to AR Quick Look and how it may impact Snapchat's AR advertising business...

Images by Tommy Palladino/Next Reality

REALITY BITES: Based on more than 400,000 interview requests, Hired has identified AR/VR software engineers as the hottest job category in tech. The site reported that demand for AR/VR engineers grew 1400% last year.

Hulu Copies Instagram's 'What (Blank) Are You' Trend on Snapchat

The "what (blank) are you" augmented reality filters on Instagram have become so popular that more and more Hollywood giants are following the augmented reality-powered social media meme train, with the latest example coming via Snapchat.

The trendy camera effects that started with the Which Disney filter and morphed into similar tributes to Harry Potter, Pokémon, and Simpsons Characters has now been adopted by one of the biggest streaming media brands on the planet: Hulu.

Keep reading to learn more about how Hulu has latched on to the Instagram phenomenon via Snapchat and how another AR startup has also leveraged the trend on Instagram...

Images by Tommy Palladino/Next Reality

REALITY BITES: Working in partnership with developer 3D Media, ThirdEye Gen will supply its X2 smartglasses to the US Air Force. The wearables will assist personnel working on 3D Media and the project is working under a $1 million Small Business Innovation Research grant from AFWERX, a quasi-incubator/investment fund for the US Air Force.

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 EE/YouTube

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