Market Reality: Snap Attracts AR Storytellers, Samsung AR Dreams Revealed & Qualcomm + Nreal Unveil New AR Hardware

Snap Attracts AR Storytellers, Samsung AR Dreams Revealed & Qualcomm + Nreal Unveil New AR Hardware

The Lens Studio creators have published more than 1.5 million AR effects to Snapchat. One of them is Audrey Spencer, who shared her story with us and provided her insights into Lens Studio as a storytelling device. Meanwhile, Snap has added new capabilities to the platform to stoke more creativity from its creators.

In AR wearables, Samsung, perhaps prematurely and maybe accidentally, illustrated its vision for smartglasses and spatial computing via leaked concept videos.

At Mobile World Congress Shanghai, tech giant Qualcomm and one of its hardware partners, Nreal, each revealed new AR hardware with very different purposes.

How Lens Studio Is Becoming a Destination for Visual Storytellers

The rapid advance of Lens Studio as a platform for easily developing augmented reality experiences is just one indicator that immersive computing is becoming the norm.

But one layer above the technology tools are the users, the real stars of any platform. Without passionate users, your platform is really just a great idea without the footprint of real-world usage and momentum. That's part of why we decided to begin looking closer at some of the people who are driving the most mainstream version of AR forward via mobile apps.

Continue reading to learn more about Lens Studio creator Audrey Spencer and how she has become one of the more prolific artists on the platform...

Image via Audrey Spencer

REALITY BITES: Snapchat's bet on augmented reality is about to pay off. At its parent company's virtual Investor Day, the company revealed that it has laid the foundation (which includes its AR technology) to return 50% revenue growth annually for multiple years. In addition, the company set May 20 as the date for its virtual Snap Partners Summit.

Samsung Glasses Lite & Wearable Computing Concepts Surface in Leak

Roughly a year ago, Samsung demoed its AR smartglasses prototype on stage at CES 2020.

Now, videos showing off a new smartglasses model along with the company's imaginings of future AR experiences have surfaced through unofficial yet reliable channels.

Read further to see the concepts Samsung has conjured up for the future of smartglasses and spatial computing...

Image by WalkingCat/Twitter

REALITY BITES: Alex Kipman, technical fellow at Microsoft and leader over all things HoloLens, announced via Twitter that the keynote for Microsoft Ignite the company's upcoming virtual event, will be viewable in mixed reality. The registration page notes that AltspaceVR will be the host site for the experience.

Qualcomm Releases Snapdragon XR1 Smartglasses Reference Design for OEMs

The augmented reality smartglasses race is getting a major new entrant that could significantly change the entire landscape.

On Tuesday, Qualcomm revealed its own XR1 AR Smart Viewer Reference Design, a pair of smartglasses that are meant to give OEMs (original equipment makers) an easy solution for launching their own smartglasses products.

Continue reading for more details on Qualcomm's device and how it may serve as a catalyst for smartglass development...

Image via Qualcomm

REALITY BITES: Spatial has launched version 2.0 of its AR/VR telepresence platform. Among the new features are LiDAR scanning, spatial audio, moveable spectator camera, a virtual selfie stick mode, and more.

Nreal Light US Debut Set for Second Quarter 2021, Followed by Enterprise Edition

At Mobile World Congress Shanghai on Tuesday (Monday evening in the US), smartglasses startup Nreal announced that its Nreal Light augmented reality glasses will launch in the US in the second quarter of 2021 as well as in the European Union through two leading regional carriers.

In addition, Nreal unveiled the Nreal Enterprise Edition, an AR headset that combines Nreal Light's slimmed-down design with a wrap-around adjustable headband similar to the HoloLens. The headset is expected to launch in 2021.

Keep reading to learn more about what Nreal has done with pilot sales of Nreal Light in South Korea, new AR experiences arriving for the device, and the outlook for Nreal Light in the US...

Image via Nreal

REALITY BITES: The introduction of LiDAR sensors in the iPad Pro and iPhone 12 Pro models has resulted in a huge improvement in 3D scanning accuracy. Occipital, makers of the Canvas app, reports accuracy within 1-2% of manual measurements, while other camera sensors are capable of 5% accuracy.

Snap Expands AR Capabilities of Lens Studio in Version 3.4

The Lens Studio app has become a cornerstone of Snap and its augmented reality technology portfolio by giving developers, creatives, and novices the ability to create augmented reality camera effects for Snapchat.

One reason for this is Snap's steady and frequent iteration of the platform's capabilities, and the latest round looks to greatly expand what the Lens Studio community can do with the tool.

Read on for more details on the features arriving in Lens Studio 3.4 and how amassing users to create Lenses contributes to Snap's business strategy for Snapchat...

Image via Snap

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 WalkingCat/Twitter

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