Last month was a whirlwind for the augmented reality industry, with the Augmented World Expo, Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference, and an exciting Magic Leap Twitch livestream all wrapping up before the ides of June. Now that we've had a chance to fully digest it all, we have a real sense of where the augmented reality industry is heading.
Elsewhere, mobile AR's old guard, Snapchat, has broken new ground in partnerships for its augmented reality platform, first with the theme park industry, and second with a professional athlete.
While many of you were off surfing and lounging on some sandy beach, or trying to figure out how to balance work with sky-high summer temperatures, Next Reality's Adario Strange has been talking to all the companies that make augmented reality what it is today.
His best opportunity came during the recent Augmented World Expo (AWE) conference in Silicon Valley in June. From tiny startups that traveled from Asia, to major players who have been working on AR for years, these companies all converged on one site to attend the largest gathering of AR experts the world has ever seen.
After gathering all the greatest minds in AR together in one place for several days of insider chatter, rumor, and speculation mixed with very real products, what have we learned? A lot, actually. Continue reading to find out where augmented reality is heading, and who is leading the charge...
REALITY BITES: One of the obstacles that hardware makers face in bringing mainstream augmented reality wearables to market is aesthetics. How can we make smartglasses that people will actually want to wear? The answer may lie in the success stories of tech companies partnering with fashion brands.
As if riding roller coasters and meeting your favorite childhood cartoon characters weren't amusing enough, Snapchat is amping up the fun with augmented reality at the world's leading amusements parks in this summer.
According to a company spokesperson, Snapchat now offers geofenced Snapchat Lenses at Disney, Universal, and Six Flags/Warner Bros. parks. The Lenses, which reflect the intellectual property of each parent company, will be available in the carousel once users enter participating parks.
Learn more about the experiences the parks will offer, how the partnerships came to be, and how the advertisers may benefit...
REALITY BITES: As head of Oath's immersive content team RYOT Studio, Mark Melling believes interactive content is the future of storytelling. However, he cautions colleagues that augmented reality deployed haphazardly can do more harm than good in a marketing campaign. Melling goes deep to talk about how to make AR content that doesn't annoy consumers.
With the opening round of Wimbledon, one of professional tennis's four major tournaments, beginning on Monday, Snapchat is serving up an augmented reality tennis mini-game.
The game challenges worldwide users and their 3D Bitmoji avatars to take on the digital doppelganger of superstar Serena Williams, who forms Snapchat's first celebrity partnership for an interactive 3D Bitmoji Lens.
Read on for more about the mini-game and how it fits into Snapchat's sports marketing strategy...
REALITY BITES: Augmented reality continues to gain traction as a means to report news instead of merely promote publications, which is good news for the companies that create AR content. The latest example comes from The Economist, which tapped augmented reality foodies Kabaq to build a Snapchat Lens to accompany the story. While publications like the New York Times build their AR content in-house, other media outlets may opt to outsource as The Economist has.
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.