Market Reality: Reggie Watts & Looking Glass NFT Auction, Sketchfab Courts Google Poly Users & Apple Smartglass Rumors

Reggie Watts & Looking Glass NFT Auction, Sketchfab Courts Google Poly Users & Apple Smartglass Rumors

The augmented reality industry has grown steadily over the past four years, but now it is on a collision course with uber-popular non-fungible tokens technology, with Looking Glass and music artist Reggie Watts among the latest to strike while the iron is hot.

Meanwhile, Sketchfab is looking to capitalize on the opportunity to bring users of Google's sunsetting Poly 3D content platform to its own similar service.

Elsewhere, Snapchat and 8th Wall serve as examples of how organizations can use augmented reality for very different promotional purposes.

Finally, the slow burn towards Apple's AR wearables debut continues, with more reports on not only its forthcoming (yet still unofficial) AR headset but also smartglasses and smart contacts emerging this week.

Looking Glass & Reggie Watts Capitalize on Explosive Popularity of NFTs

The moment many of the crypto savvy insiders in augmented reality and VR have been waiting for is here: we're finally getting our first big auction of NFT art that exists purely as a hologram.

This week, an auction will be held to sell off a unique 3D presentation, accompanied by music, developed by none other than AR and VR enthusiast, and music star, Reggie Watts.

Continue reading to learn more about what Looking Glass and Watts are offering and how it serves as a preview of how companies and creators can monetize AR content...

REALITY BITES: Unity has acquired VisualLive, a platform for visualizing building information models (BIM) in AR, for an undisclosed amount. The move strengthens Unity's portfolio of tools for the architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC) industry, such as Unity Reflect.

Sketchfab Supports Abandoned Google Poly Users with Transfer Tool

Google Poly, a repository of 3D objects for use in AR and VR experiences, is the latest Google offering to fall victim to the company's habit of axing products and services, regardless of popularity.

Sensing an opportunity, competing 3D content marketplace Sketchfab has swooped in to throw a lifeline to Poly users during this trying time.

Read further to find out how Sketchfab is helping Google Poly users rescue their 3D assets from Poly's sinking ship...

REALITY BITES: The US Army has shared an update on the latest iteration of its customized Microsoft HoloLens 2 project, including a photo of the modified device. The integrated Visual Augmentation System (IVAS) team will continue to update the hardware and software ahead of an operational test scheduled for July 2021, followed by a field unit evaluation (FUE) in the fourth quarter of 2021.

Snapchat & NHS Raise Support for Organ Donation with AR Lens

March 11 was World Kidney Day, and the United Kingdom's National Health Service Blood and Transplant (NHSBT) used the occasion to educate its constituents about organ donation.

Utilizing the new body-tracking technology recently released in Lens Studio 3.4, NHSBT published an AR experience that overlaid a rough map of the body's internal organs on individuals within the camera view.

Keep reading for more details on the AR experience and how it helps NHSBT raise awareness around organ donation...

Images by Tommy Palladino/Next Reality

REALITY BITES: Shares of Roblox Corporation debuted on the New York Stock Exchange this week, with the company's valuation rising nearly 55% to $45.2 billion after the first day of trading. While Roblox isn't an AR company yet, its success in building a platform where players can build out and interact with virtual worlds shows the potential for investment in similar experiences that unfold in AR. And Roblox CEO David Baszucki has previously illustrated his AR vision for future smartglasses.

8th Wall Assists USA Today with March Madness AR Promotion

Just as the NCAA men's basketball tournament is set to start later this month, USA Today has decided to trot out an augmented reality mini-basketball game to promote its bracket competition.

And while USA Today is a prolific publisher of AR news content through its own app, this time, the media outlet took an assist from 8th Wall's web-based AR platform for this particular AR experience.

Continue reading for more details on Couchketball and how the web-based experience benefits USA Today's March Madness coverage...

Images by Tommy Palladino/Next Reality

REALITY BITES: Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg's feud with Apple has now spilled into the development of AR wearables. In an interview with The Information (paywall), Zuckerberg subtly jabbed Apple regarding the constraints of mobile apps, with VR and AR serving as an opportunity to break away from the mobile paradigm. He also notes that Facebook intends to price its devices to be more affordable to the average consumer, a reference to the rumored price of Apple's forthcoming AR headset.

After AR Headset Next Year, Apple Aims for Smartglasses & Smart Contacts

Based on recent reports, we've got a pretty clear picture of what to expect from Apple's rumored augmented reality headset expected to arrive next year, but the outlook is more opaque concerning its consumer-grade AR smartglasses.

Now, an analyst with a proven track record projecting Apple's product roadmap has not only set an event horizon for the company's next-generation AR smartglasses but also surfaced yet another augmented reality wearable, smart contact lenses, further down the path.

Continue reading for more details on Apple's potential AR plans and how realistic the latest predictions are...

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 Reggie Watts/YouTube

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