This time last year, Snap CEO Evan Spiegel and his company were faced with an erosion of its user base that cratered its stock price. This year, on the strength of Snapchat's AR camera effects, the company has reversed course. And that's why Spiegel tops the NR30, our annual list of the leaders in the AR industry.
Last year's top AR leader was Apple CEO Tim Cook, whose company happened to have its latest big product event this week. While Apple's annual iPhone event is typically marked by fanfare, there was hardly anything to get excited about in the iterative improvements to the smartphone line-up. But there was one new addition to the iPhone Pro Models that boosts the device's augmented reality capabilities.
Meanwhile, Daqri, once a leader in the enterprise AR field, appears to have gone out of business, according to recent reports.
Finally, Google, which also places one of its AR leaders on the NR30, shipped a new version of its ARCore toolkit that brings some crucial cross-platform capabilities to mobile AR apps.
If we were to assign a theme for the 2019 edition of the Next Reality 30 (NR30), it might be something along the lines of, "What have you done for me lately?"
Many of the top names in the industry from the 2018 edition remain the same, but their positions have shuffled. The people that rose in rank have demonstrated clear success, such as platform growth and new products. Those who have fallen are still very relevant, but their accomplishments are relatively stagnant compared to their 2018 output.
Nineteen members of the 2018 edition dropped off the list in 2019. In some cases, their companies folded. In other cases, they left their companies or the industry altogether. Some of those 2018 members who have left AR were replaced by colleagues, as their companies' AR efforts continued to flourish. Others have been surpassed by individuals whose contributions have simply been stronger in the last year.
REALITY BITES: Speaking of Snap, newly-parsed download data should relieve any anxiety stockholders may have that Snap's rising stock value might be solely due to Snapchat's viral camera effects. Meanwhile, Spiegel will be among the participants at the Goldman Sachs 28th Annual Communacopia Conference in New York on September 18.
Despite hints hidden in internal iOS 13 code, Apple did not unveil its long-rumored smartglasses at its annual iPhone launch event on Tuesday.
But the company did continue to move in the direction of AR wearables. Read further to learn more...
REALITY BITES: Apple and Google, two of the main competitors at the forefront of AR development, engaged in a war of words over security last week. After Google researchers found a vulnerability in iOS, Apple hit back, accusing Google of "stoking fear." But Google isn't turning the other cheek on this one, and is defending the work of its researchers.
While the tech industry is hot in pursuit of mainstream smartglasses for consumers, another early maker of enterprise-focused AR hardware has apparently met its end.
Following the fate of ODG and Meta Company, augmented reality hardware maker Daqri has apparently run out of runway and is shutting down.
Keep reading for more details on Daqri's downward spiral and why the end of the company doesn't necessarily mean that its technology is gone, too...
REALITY BITES: Facebook is arguing that features in the latest versions of iOS and Android that limit location access to its app may impact the user experience. Is this a preview of the kind of user education that AR cloud providers will face, considering that location data will be critical to their technologies?
With Android 10 hitting the streets (at least for those mobile devices that get quick updates) and the public release of iOS 13 dropping on Sept. 19, Google is releasing an update on Thursday to ARCore that adds some fantastic new benefits to its cross-platform capabilities.
For its Cloud Anchors API for multi-user augmented reality experiences, Google has integrated persistent content support, enabling users to "save" AR content in real-world places for others to discover and interact with.
Read further to learn more about ARCore's new abilities and how they stack up compared to Apple's ARKit...
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.